Sadly, throughout the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, the services of the Care Network were suspended after over 30 years of service. Clearly many medical appointments were cancelled and so for about six months no jobs were undertaken by the pool of volunteer drivers. Under normal circumstances they would normally have supported needy village residents with about 100 jobs in that time.
There are now at least eight volunteers who are prepared to operate a service for essential medical appointments. Accordingly, subject to stringent safety conditions agreed by the committee, the Care Network resumes operations from 1st September. All Social Distancing & Hygiene measures will be observed.
The telephone contacts will receive requests as before and pass them on to Mervyn Donnelly who will assess the need and make arrangements with a driver. Please try to give at least 72 hours notice.
The Care Network is always looking for new volunteer drivers to cope with ongoing demand. If you are able to volunteer and offer some time as a driver, please contact Harry Stone on 241026. In a typical year, 20 volunteers undertake about 250 jobs; this means drivers do not need to commit more than they feel appropriate. The network reimburses volunteers for any expenses incurred, such as fuel costs or parking fees. Unlike many other organisations, there is no need to make a regular commitment, just a willingness to help out now and again when circumstances allow.
Finally, funding for The Care Network is almost entirely from donations it receives from people it helps, if you can please donate.