Lawrence Centre Drivers
Maggie Charlesworth had a problem.
She is the manager of The Lawrence Centre which provides daytime activities for older people, including those living with memory loss and health issues.
Maggie was having trouble getting enough drivers to bring them to the centre (off Chamberlain Street) in Wells in the morning and home in the afternoon.
But the Wells Independents heard about the difficulties and their Simon Lawder solved the problem.
“Maggie told us at one of our SOUP lunches that she needed transport to get her members to the Lawrence Centre,” said Simon. “That was her greatest problem.
“Some people were unable to get to the Lawrence Centre at all and others had to pay for taxis which they could not afford.
“Social Services don’t have the necessary transport resources nowadays.
“We thought wouldn’t it be wonderful to get the voluntary organisations and churches to work together and find enough drivers.
“So I approached them all and we now have ten volunteer drivers bringing people to the centre from across Wells as well as further places like Croscombe, Meare and Cheddar.”
One of the drivers is Piers Rose, a retired naval officer, barrister and member of Wells Rotary Club.
“It is an easy way to help two people,” said Piers. “I help Kate by bringing her from her house in Croscombe and help David, her husband and carer, by giving him five hours’ respite a day twice a week to do jobs he can’t do while looking after Kate.”
Piers enjoys getting to know them and finds his volunteering a rewarding experience.
Kate is also pleased and said: “Piers is never late. It is an outing I look forward to and they look after us so well at the Lawrence Centre.”
Maggie is delighted that the transport problem is resolved and said: “We are very grateful to Simon Lawder and the Wells Independents for recruiting the drivers and organising this volunteer service.
“It is a huge relief for carers, whose needs are often forgotten, to be able to rely on someone to bring their loved one here and take them home.
“It is a win win situation as it gives the carer a longer break while ensuring our members reach the centre on time.”
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer driver to cover holidays or other commitments email Maggie on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01749 676839.
Most insurance companies don’t charge volunteer drivers extra, there is no need for special eligibility checks and drivers have their mileage paid.