GNCT Volunteer Drivers
This page contains all the information you need to know about volunteering with Good Neighbours Community Transport.
For further information please contact GNCT on 01947 606440
Volunteering With Community Transport
What kind of voluntary work does Good Neighbours Community Transport offer ?
GNCT needs volunteer drivers and passenger assistants who are interested in helping others, and are willing to spend some of their free time with people who have difficulty using public transport for all kinds of reasons.
Currently GNCT runs three main projects. The Community Car Scheme requires volunteers to drive their own cars on behalf of our passengers. We also need drivers for our Community Transport Minibus with which we operate our very popular Travel Club amongst other services. Our most recent Project is our new Ring & Ride Service for the town of Whitby and immediate surrounding rural area using our new fully accessible MPV (multiple person vehicle). As well as drivers we are on the look out for passenger assistants who play a valuable role supporting drivers on journeys, helping on outings and assisting with the welfare of passengers.
What sort of activities need the help of volunteers ?
Individual passengers need transport to hospitals, doctors surgeries, appointments, shopping or simply to visit friends. Community groups need transport for group activities such as outings, visits and luncheons.
What sort of people make good volunteers ?
There is no such thing as the ideal volunteer. Everyone brings their own motivation, skills, experience and personality into their voluntary work. However, there are some qualities which we feel volunteers need to have. These include being:
- Patient and sensitive to the needs of others.
- Honest and trustworthy
- Reliable and punctual
- Tolerant, non-judgemental and able to keep confidentiality.
- Able to work on their own initiative or as part of a team when necessary.
Will I be offered training ?
We offer our volunteers a range of training opportunities. For volunteer minibus drivers we offer MiDAS (Minibus Drivers Awareness Scheme) training. For our volunteer car drivers we offer MiDAS Car & MPV training. We also offer first aid and health & safety awareness training.
What about any expenses incurred while volunteering ?
You will be reimbursed for expenses incurred while volunteering for Good Neighbours Community Transport. If you are a volunteer car driver you will be paid a mileage rate for the journeys you undertake which covers the running costs of your vehicle. If you are a Minibus driver your expenses travelling to and from the minibus are covered.
How do I become a volunteer for Good Neighbours Community Transport ?
First, an informal interview will be arranged at GNCT so that you can find out more about Community Transport and how we work with volunteers. If both you and GNCT are happy in you becoming a volunteer, there are some administrative procedures, which need to be completed. This can sometimes seem bureaucratic, but we do have legal, technical and insurance obligations. If you have any difficulty with any of our forms we will be happy to help. All our volunteers are DBS (criminal record) checked.
You will need to fill in a driver registration form, which asks for your licence details and driving history. To be eligible to drive, volunteers must be:
- Be over 21.
- Have held a full current UK licence for at least two years.
- Have a driving licence issued before January 1997 for minibus driving.
- We will only allow a maximum of 6 penalty points.
- Be in good health and if taking medication you must inform us.
Please bring your driving licence with you to the interview (both parts if it is the new version)
Community Car Scheme Drivers
Before you can drive for the car scheme you must inform your insurance company that you intend to undertake voluntary driving. We will give you a standard letter to send them which asks your insurers to send us confirmation that your policy covers you for voluntary driving on our behalf. We will also need to see your insurance documents and check your vehicle's MOT certificate. We have a responsibility to check that these are still in order from time to time.
If you would like to be a passenger assistant, we will arrange training for you in wheelchair handling and clamping, passenger safety and the use of any specialist equipment.
Minibus Driver Induction
Once we have completed the administrative side and you have undertaken your MiDAS training we will ask you to go out on a journey with one of our existing volunteer minibus drivers to find out about our work first hand.
Ring & Ride MPV Driving
Full training will be given in driving and operating the MPV. Essentially it is a large car with a tail lift on the back for easy access for wheelchair users. The vehicle has been modified to allow easy access for passengers with a variety of mobility issues.
Are any expenses liable for tax ?
Community Car Scheme drivers who receive expenses above those set out in Inland Revenue guidelines must declare this on a tax return. The Scheme Co-ordinator can provide information about this and calculate whether you would have any tax liability. This is very rare as you would have to drive in excess of 10,000 miles a year for the scheme.
Does voluntary work with GNCT affect entitlement to any benefits ?
If you are claiming any benefits, you need to inform them of your intention to volunteer and check with the benefits agency that you are ok to start volunteering. If you are on Job Seekers Allowance or Income Support, you must be actively seeking work and be available to work at short notice. It is important to stress that the expenses you are receiving are out of pocket expenses and that this is unpaid voluntary work as opposed to paid voluntary work. If you are currently claiming invalidity benefit, you need to consult your doctor about whether the work you propose to do is considered to be of therapeutic benefit.
Do GNCT volunteers meet together for social activities ?
We encourage our volunteers to come along to our volunteers meetings. We also have a Christmas meal together as a way for people to get to know each other.
Does GNCT have an Equal Opportunities Policy ?
We expect all our volunteers to work to the spirit of our Equal Opportunities Policy which encourages positive attitudes towards race, gender, disability, sexuality, religion, age and physical appearance etc; We have a Code of Conduct which outlines how our commitment to Equal Opportunities is translated into working practice. We encourage our volunteers to challenge any discrimination or harassment they encounter during their work and equally we aim to challenge oppressive, offensive or discriminatory language and behaviour, to engender an open and sensitive working relationship.
Do volunteers need to supply references ?
Many of the passengers that GNCT provide services for come from vulnerable groups within society, (i.e. older people and people with disabilities). As working with these individuals and groups involves a high degree of responsibility, it is our policy to ask volunteers to provide two character references. Referees must be over 21, have known you at least two years and should not be a close relative.
To book a journey call 01947 606440
Or you can call into our office at:
Good Neighbours Community Transport