West Kent volunteer drivers needed for invaluable community car service

Age UK estimates that there at least 1.4 million older people in the UK, who sadly regularly experience loneliness. 

The Community Car Service is a Tunbridge Wells registered charity that has been supporting elderly and vulnerable residents for over thirty years, through its invaluable community car service and wellbeing social inclusion services.

Local eligible customers on benefits, over the age of retirement or with a registered disability, pay an annual fee to join the community car service and can request transportation for medical, hairdresser, day centre and social visits. The volunteer drivers are reimbursed for every mile from outside their own home and back. 

We caught with Regional Manager Lorraine Ash to find out more,

“We stayed open every day during the COVID-pandemic to support our 1,600 customers, who live across West Kent from Paddock Wood, Tonbridge, Seven Oaks, Maidstone to Cranbrook; collecting prescriptions, shopping and we even offered a free-COVID vaccine car service for all our customers. We are not just a cheap taxi service and our customers are more like family: during Covid, we phoned our most vulnerable customers, especially those living alone, to make sure they were ok.


Unfortunately, we lost a lot of drivers during COVID due to retirement or just a loss of routine, meaning our service is desperately short of drivers.”

Lorraine and the dedicated team are looking for volunteer drivers, with a full-driving licence and car to support this much-needed service. The charity will pay for the enhanced DBS check and reimburse all mileage costs and in return, you will be supporting an essential lifeline for elderly and vulnerable residents. 

Due to the ongoing COVID-restrictions, the team can no longer leave flyers advertising their services in GP surgeries. 

“The flyers used to spread awareness, especially with elderly residents unaware of the service and the enclosed driver advert would encourage volunteer drivers to apply. 

We have a Facebook and Twitter page, which gives us a digital presence but the now defunct, old-style flyer marketing technique used to work wonders.”

The hard-working team also offers 

weekly coffee morning, lunch clubs, alongside annual Christmas lunches, trips to Herne Bay and Teapot Island for elderly residents, to have vital social contact with friends in the community. 

The latest brainchild is the IT-2U scheme, which matches volunteers with residents, providing a much-needed IT home-service to assist with shopping, white goods ordering or any other online services. 

If you can offer just a few hours to help this invaluable community car service, or wish to donate through fundraising, please contact Lorraine Ash today on the details below:

T 01892 540131