A community car scheme arranges lifts for local people where other transport isn’t available. Volunteers, using their own cars, offer door to door lifts to people, giving their time freely. The passenger contributes towards the driver’s petrol, and the County Council pays the driver an additional subsidy. A scheme is often based on one or more villages, or round a GP surgery. They are great: “More than just a lift!”
To set up a community car scheme you need a pool of volunteer drivers (no regular time commitment needed), a published phone number (with voicemail) for people to call to request journeys, and co-ordinators to take the calls and link passengers up with volunteer drivers who are free at the time. Ideally, there are enough coordinators to ensure that the phone is manned at all reasonable times.
You also need a small committee, however informal, to oversee the scheme, a bank account and treasurer, and some publicity. To have the scheme registered with the County Council, volunteer drivers need to agree to be DBS (CRB)-checked and to inform their insurer that they are undertaking this role.
The County Council has all the paperwork needed to set a scheme up, and supports schemes with some financial subsidies. Care Network works closely with the County Council and local volunteers to offer practical help and expertise. We can help with setting up a committee, recruiting volunteers, compiling driver information, training, DBS (CRB)-checking, publicity, getting hospital parking permits - all a scheme needs to actually get off the ground and keep going successfully!
For details of Community Transport in your area select the appropriate guide at the bottom of the Community Transport Page on the Cambridgeshire County Council Website.
If you have any problems trying to arrange insurance that covers you for voluntary driving or if your insurance company is unwilling to confirm that your existing policy covers you for voluntary driving, then you may find this link to the Community Transport Association website useful. It includes a list of insurance companies that do not charge extra for voluntary driving published by The Association of British Insurers. To down load a PDF copy of the list click here. Many of these no longer require you to notify them that you intend to drive for volunteering purposes.
We have published a couple of leaflets that help to describe how to use or drive for a Community Car Scheme. Copies of the Passenger and Driver Leaflets can be viewed on our Publication Page. We can also provide reference material and support for setting up and maintaining a Community Car Scheme. If you need more information please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.