Community Car Service
Reducing social isolation
Reducing social isolation by providing essential volunteer-led transport for elderly and vulnerable people
Tunbridge Wells and District Volunteer Bureau (Community Car Service) reduces isolation by providing essential volunteer-led transport enabling people to attend hospital appointments, GP and dental appointments, as well as visit relatives, shopping and social inclusion projects.
Kent Community Foundation has awarded the charity grants from since 2012 for various projects including their social inclusion days out to Teapot Island and the seaside and their Community Car Service Lunch club and ‘Christmas lunch with all the Trimmings.’
Lorraine Ash, Manager, Community Car Service said;
“The difference the lunch club makes is huge, many of our customers are very lonely and go days of even weeks without talking to another person. The lunches get them out of their home and meeting new people, they often make new friends on these days out, swap phone numbers with each other, which reduces isolation even more.”
“At the seaside this year Pam asked; “Are you doing Christmas lunch again? Last time you sat me opposite a lady that I didn’t know. We got talking and she only lives 2 doors away. We got chatting and ever since then we have two coffee mornings a week and once a month we go out to lunch”. This is a perfect example of how our project reduces social isolation “
Volunteer driver, Community Car service, said;
“I have been a volunteer driver for 20 years 13 years for Community Car Service. I started driving after I had an operation, which had major complications that meant that I could no longer continue with my employment as a long distance lorry driver. I was stuck in the house day after day feeling like I was no good to anyone and had no purpose in life. I then remembered the nice volunteer driver that had driven me back up to St Thomas’ hospital when I was so ill. I thought I could do that, the rest is history as they say. I’ve never looked back I now feel that I am doing something worthwhile for the community and the people that need the service. It is a nice change to do the social inclusion days out and take people to have a nice day out meeting new people and having fun. Being a volunteer driver gives me a reason to get up in the morning and gets me out of the house most days of the week”.