Community car scheme marks milestone

27 July 2016

A successful community car scheme has celebrated reaching its fifth anniversary and 3000th journey with a tea party for customers and volunteer staff.

Serving the residents of Over, Willingham, Longstanton and Swavesey, OWLS Community Car Scheme provides door-to-door service for medical and social journeys for people who don’t have the use of a car and cannot access public transport.

The scheme serves around 170 regular clients and is run solely by volunteers, including four coordinators and 20 drivers. 

The OWLS Community Car Scheme is one of many operating across South Cambridgeshire that is looking to recruit more volunteer drivers.

Cllr Tim Wotherspoon, South Cambridgeshire District Council cabinet member with responsibility for sustainable communities, said: “Community car schemes are a lifeline for isolated people who find it difficult to use public transport, enabling them to get out and about, which they wouldn’t be able to do without the goodwill of volunteers willingly giving their time.

“It’s great to see community car schemes so widely used across the district but, with a steady demand for journeys, they need to recruit more volunteers. If you have some free time and would like to help people in your local area, please think about becoming a volunteer driver or coordinator. You can give as little or as much time as you want, whatever fits around your other commitments.”

Drivers use their own cars and receive 45p a mile. Additional insurance cover is provided by Cambridgeshire County Council and volunteers undergo a DBS (formerly CRB) check.

If you’re interested in volunteering, or would like to start a scheme for your village, contact Care Network by emailing alix.c@care-network.org

For more information about OWLS, and all other community car schemes operating in South Cambridgeshire, visit www.scambs.gov.uk/community-transport or visit South Cambridgeshire District Council’s YouTube channel – SouthCambsDC – to watch a short video about OWLS.