Volunteer drivers go 'extra mile' to get people to appointments in Derry & Tyrone
Easilink Community Transport volunteer car drivers are going the ‘extra mile’ to ensure that people in their local community get to health appointments.
Easilink Community Transport provide a door-to-door transport option for people in the Easilink Operational area across rural Derry, Strabane and Omagh.
The transport services are provided to promote independence and social inclusion, physical and mental wellbeing and to assist individuals who have no access to either public transport or private transport.
It enables people to access essential services such as health appointments, education, training, and employment.
Volunteer car drivers are playing a key role, alongside the paid Easilink minibus drivers to help ensure appointments are not missed because of transport issues. In the past year 2021/2022 alone, the volunteers have delivered 9,000 passenger trips.
Claire Russell, Easilink CEO said: “Our volunteer car drivers are going that extra length to ensure that people in their local community get to health appointments and other essential trips. Without their support we would not be able to operate.
Easilink have just recently been re-awarded the Investors in Volunteers UK quality standard. Passing this standard shows that we are committed and strive to ensure that volunteers have the best quality experience possible with us.
"The incredible contribution made by volunteers is not only appreciated, but valued in-line with this national standard, and beyond this measure.
“We are truly thankful and blessed by each individual volunteer and want them to know that they are integral to Easilink.”
Mona Rice, Easilink volunteer car driver said: “I used to own my own business and when I retired, I needed something to get up for in the mornings. I wanted to give something back to the local community so started volunteering with Easilink. I have been volunteering with Easilink for over 20 years now. I find it extremely rewarding. I enjoy meeting new people and helping others; it is good for my mental health. I mostly do hospital runs and shopping runs.”
Easilink Community Transport are in the look out for more volunteers to be able to accommodate the massive increase in transport requests, mainly to local health appointments and hospital appointments throughout the Western Trust area. If you have a full clean driving license, access to your own car and free time to help your local community, you can visit the Easilink website www.easilink.org or contact Kerrie on 07702852582.