High Sheriff Award for Volunteer Driver Service
Award recognises the part the service plays in enhancing the lives of our local community
Banbury’s Volunteer Driver Service has been recognised for the part it plays in enhancing the lives of our local community. The service has received an award from the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, Amanda Ponsonby MBE.
The Volunteer Driver Service uses volunteer drivers to take people to essential appointments in the Cherwell District when there is no reasonable alternative transport available. They undertake around 600 journeys each month, travelling around 15,000 miles.
Around 150 drivers volunteer their services, although some are currently dormant due to the pandemic. The service always welcomes new volunteers.
Since the start of the year the Volunteer Driver Service has taken over 500 people to receive their COVID vaccinations. They are currently doing 50% more journeys than just before Christmas.
During the early part of 2020 the service recognised that food provision was not yet in place if people had to isolate and so worked with the SOFEA Community Larder to deliver free food parcels. After the service was forced to suspend transporting passengers due to government social distancing rules, they worked to become compliant with South Central Ambulance Service PPE standards so this part of the service could resume.
The award came as a surprise to Keith Davies, the Volunteer Driver Service Manager. He said: “Amanda, the High Sheriff, caught me by surprise. I thought she’s just swung by to say hello!
“I’m absolutely thrilled to bits, thank you to the people who thought of [the Volunteer Driver Service] and congratulations to a most fantastic team.”
The Volunteer Driver Service was established April 2012 and is a project of Citizens Advice North Oxon and South Northants. Passengers pay 45p per mile from the driver’s home to help cover the driver’s fuel cost.
Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam