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Volunteer Drivers Needed for Rural Community Bus

Published Wednesday, 19 July 2017

A community bus service that prevents elderly and vulnerable residents from becoming "prisoners in their own homes" is looking for volunteer drivers in the Hodder Valley.

The Little Green Bus, supported by Ribble Valley Borough Council, provides door-to-door transport for elderly and vulnerable residents via fully-accessible minibuses, a volunteer car scheme that transports passengers to and from medical appointments and a programme of Friday trips aimed at reducing rural isolation.

The popular service is much-appreciated in Clitheroe and nearby villages, but wants to extend into Slaidburn, Whitewell, Dunsop Bridge and Newton. 

In the first instance, the Little Green Bus wants to develop its volunteer car scheme in the four villages and would like to hear from anyone with some spare time and willingness to use their own car to make a big difference to people’s lives by transporting them to medical and other important appointments.

The bus will be out-and-about in the four villages on Monday, 31 July, for anyone interested in getting on-board as a volunteer driver or service user.

It will be at Slaidburn Car Park from 9.30 until 11.30am and Little Green Bus staff will be out-and-about delivering leaflets and chatting to residents. Afterwards, the bus will visit Whitewell, Dunsop Bridge and Newton.

Ian Sayers, Ribble Valley Borough Council’s community transport champion, said: "The Little Green Bus is a vital lifeline in a large rural community, where many elderly and vulnerable residents live in isolation.

“It has proved so popular that we want to extend it into other communities where there is a pressing need.”

The Little Green Bus, previously known as Ribble Valley Community Transport, started in 1992 and now has five 16-seater minibuses and over 35 volunteer drivers offering affordable and essential travel to over 900 residents and 50 community groups.

As well as being thoroughly appreciated, volunteer drivers receive ongoing training and support, and insurance cover, while car-users also receive expenses.

Little Green Bus chief executive Donna Atkinson added: “Our drivers are marvellous individuals, who volunteer their time to help us assist people, who without our services would be prisoners in their own homes.

“We can never have enough drivers and would love to hear from anyone in these four villages interested in joining our wonderful team.

“Interested residents are invited to pop over to the bus for a chat and we will be delighted to meet them.”

Further details on becoming a Little Green Bus volunteer driver or passenger are available from 01200 444484 or littlegreenbus.org.uk.

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