There are many ways that volunteering your time as a driver could be helpful. A large number of people – due to age or disability – do not have access to travel, placing restrictions on their freedom and independence. They may struggle getting to the shops, to hospital appointments or to social events. Gradually they become more isolated and may even go without things they need because they cannot get around on their own. By buckling up and giving lifts to those in need, you could be helping transform someone’s life.
Transporting people and animals
Becoming a volunteer driver is also a fantastic opportunity to develop new skills. Many charities and organisations offer training to build skills in related areas. For example, Guide Dogs for the Blind offer sighted guide training to volunteer drivers who transport blind people and their dogs. Charities such as the RSPCA also offer training on transporting animals safely and often need drivers to transport needy animals in their care.
Transporting waste, equipment and donated items
Volunteering opportunities for drivers are also available in other areas. Charities and organisations such as Woodland Trust frequently advertise for drivers to transport garden waste to local tips. The British Heart Foundation also regularly need volunteer drivers to collect donated items from people’s homes if they are unable to bring them into charity shops themselves.
Generally speaking, for voluntary driving roles, all you need is a full UK driving licence and to be fit to drive safely. Expenses such as petrol costs are usually covered by the establishment you choose to volunteer for, although the terms and conditions of this should be confirmed before you start. You should also ask whether you will be required to use your personal vehicle (if you have one), or whether they will provide you with one. For example, RSPCA base decisions as to whether they will provide a vehicle on the location of the voluntary role.
What does a volunteer say about their experience?