NOW busier than ever, Care in Haslemere volunteers have driven 20 per cent more needy clients to vital medical appointments this year.
The non-profit organisation based at Haslemere Methodist Church, was launched 39 years ago to ensure disadvantaged residents of the town and surrounding areas could get to where they needed to go.
Continuing that aim, Care donated £820 to the Waverley Hoppa community transport service, at its AGM on July 26, in the first of four donations to support the Hospital Hoppa service, totalling £3,000.
Care has pledged to give £5 to Hoppa for every journey made on the Haslemere Hospital Hoppa.
Thanking the charity for its support, Hoppa general manager Steve Forward said: “At its AGM, Care presented the first of four cheques to Hoppa. It revealed that during the first three months of this financial year, there had been 164 journeys making a fantastic donation of £820.
“Care is a great friend of Hoppa, with similar aims and ethos to us, so we are very grateful for this gift.
“Care in Haslemere relies on volunteer drivers who use their own cars to give lifts to users, making it a very personal service. If you would like to support a great local cause, do consider becoming a volunteer with them.”
Care in Haslemere chairman Grahame Randall added: “Like Hoppa, our great assets are our wonderful drivers and booking staff. Care’s main purpose is giving lifts to people mainly to medical appointments. It has been a busy year, completing 1,500 trips, an increase of 20 per cent on last year.
“If you enjoy being with people and like driving, you could find joining Care in Haslemere to be the perfect volunteering opportunity.”
Volunteer Care drivers are called on to take people to medical appointments and often provide companionship by taking their passenger into the health centre or hospital. They use their own cars and have the option of claiming mileage of 45p per mile.
Passengers are invited to make a donation to the charity for their journey.
As with Hoppa, journeys are significantly cheaper than taxis and more convenient than public transport. Care is not able to transport severely disabled people but can provide help to passengers who may have a walking stick or frame.
In addition to supporting Hoppa, the charity also donated £5,000 to Haslemere’s new Hunter Centre to support those with dementia and their carers.
It has also earmarked a further £11,000 to buy equipment to treat patients with macular degeneration at Haslemere Hospital.
Special guests at the AGM in addition to Mr Forward, were deputy town mayor David Round and Rose Parry, chairman of the Haslemere Hospital League of Friends.
• To volunteer or book a journey with Care in Haslemere, visit the charity’s website at www.careinhaslemere.org.uk or call 01428 652505.
More information about Hoppa can be found at www.hoppa.org.uk or by calling (01428) 681701.