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Transport charity appeals for volunteers to help get community car scheme on the road

PUBLISHED: 11:31 08 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:01 08 February 2019

North Norfolk Community Transport is appealing to drivers to volunteer for a car scheme supporting Cromer Group Practice patients. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

North Norfolk Community Transport is appealing to drivers to volunteer for a car scheme supporting Cromer Group Practice patients. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2013

A north Norfolk charity has teamed up with a doctors’ surgery, to launch a scheme aimed at supporting Cromer residents who have difficulty accessing transport to GP and hospital appointments.

North Norfolk Community Transport is appealing to drivers to volunteer for a car scheme supporting Cromer Group Practice patients. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYNorth Norfolk Community Transport is appealing to drivers to volunteer for a car scheme supporting Cromer Group Practice patients. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

North Norfolk Community Transport (NNCT), which based at North Walsham, is working with staff at Cromer Group Practice to set up a volunteer car scheme for patients who do not have their own transport and cannot use public transport because of illness or disability.

But, in order to go ahead, the scheme, which people will also be able to use to go shopping, or to access local services, needs volunteer car owners willing to give up a few hours a month to help.

Andy Snelling, who is practice manager at the Mill Road Road surgery, said patients who did not meet the criteria for NHS transport often struggled to find the cash to pay to get to appointments.

“We have a large elderly population who struggle with public transport and do not have the funds to pay for taxis, so we are very keen to work with NNCT to improve transport links for our patients, ”he explained.

The scheme, which is being funded by North Norfolk District Council and Cromer Town Council, is one of a number of services run by NNCT.

The charity also provides accessible minibus travel to community groups, schools and colleges; an accessible car service; minibus hire for schools and charitible organisations, and a ‘Coastal Connections’ Dial a Ride service, which offers door to door transport to elderly or isolated people across the area.

Car scheme volunteers, whose fuel costs will be reimbursed, would need to let their insurance company know they are using their car to transport patients to appointments, but NNCT chief executive Claire Abbs said this did not usually present a problem.

“This is a very flexible role as it allows people to let us know when they might be free to help, but they don’t have to commit to a certain time each day or week,” she added. “I think it might be something of interest to people who would not otherwise have considered volunteering before.”

For more information about becoming a NNCT car scheme volunteer, phone 01692 500840 or email: info@nnct.org.uk

North Norfolk Community Transport will be running a car scheme information stand in the foyer of Morrison’s supermarket, Cromer, from 10.30am-1.30pm on Tuesday, February 12.

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