Transport scheme is launched
HELP may be at hand for those stranded by possible changes to bus routes.
The Royal Voluntary Service has set up a Swindon Community Transport service to help the town’s elderly get around.
Run by volunteers, it will take those who may otherwise not be able to get where they need to go.
Whether it is to fulfil a hospital appointment or just a trip to the shops, they will be happy to help.
The aim is to provide a friendly face and to make sure no-one becomes isolated.
Vicky O’Connor, service manager, said: “This is a really important service which allows some of the most vulnerable members of society to get out and about.
“We take people to wherever they want. We have taken people to the shops and next week we’re taking someone to London.
“We also take people to their hospital appointments, either in Swindon or Oxford, and a volunteer will go in and wait with them.”
Vicky says the service helps to keep some people living independent lives while also offering to help others on occasions when their normal support may not be available.
She said: “We are not trying to replace any other services or support groups.
“Every now and again there are days when a family member may not be available or the person may not be able to get to public transport and that’s when we try and step in.
“If people are unable to get out they can rapidly become lonely and start feeling isolated and our fundamental aim is to prevent this from happening.”
The RVS, formerly known as the Women’s Royal Volunteer Service, helps more than 100,000 people remain living in their own home.
Despite the service only being up and running for a short period of time, they are already heavily over-subscribed and are in need of extra hands.
“We are looking for people who can donate just a couple of hours a week to help out,” said Vicky.
“Some of our volunteers work full-time Monday to Friday while some only work for a bit at weekends.
“The only skill they need to have is to be a people person “It may not sound much but a friendly chat can make a big difference.”
To find out more about the service, contact Vicky on either 01793 465552 or 07714 898572.
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