Not all superheroes wear capes: be a local hero and volunteer to help others
Date published: 10 January 2024
Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale (HMR) Circle Volunteer Drivers Service
If one of your New Year’s Resolutions this year is to help other people, consider becoming a local hero and volunteer driver with HMR Circle, the award-winning local social enterprise which works to reduce loneliness in older people.
Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Circle – HMR Circle – is a not-for-profit community interest company which works to reduce social isolation in older people through social events, practical support, befriending and a volunteer drivers service.
Although based in Rochdale, its award-winning Volunteer Drivers Service is nationally recognised, helping transport older people across the brough – and beyond – to hospital, doctor and other medical appointments as well as to social activities (including many of the 990 organised by Circle in 2023), shopping or visits to the barber or hairdresser.
Each month the amazing volunteer drivers make hundreds of trips, ensuring older people and vulnerable adults get to their appointments on time in a relaxed frame of mind.
Because of the success of the service – the current National Volunteer Drivers Service of the Year – demand for more volunteers to come forward and support the service just keeps on growing, with HMR Circle now looking for volunteer drivers in Heywood, Middleton, Rochdale, Oldham and Bury.
Since the service came under the Circle umbrella, it has taken over 40,000 transport requests and has driven nearly 500,000 miles. A phenomenal achievement, all those miles driven by volunteers using their own vehicles.
In 2023 alone, Circle’s drivers took nearly 9,000 transport requests, covered a staggering 125,599 miles and distributed 3,368 dinner meals to people.
Mark Wynn, director of HMR Circle, said: “For all the impressive statistics, it is the effect it has on the passengers that is without doubt the most pleasing aspect of what the ‘VDS’ does.”
As part of the wider Volunteer Drivers Service, there are some bespoke services, including the HMR Circle Home from Hospital Service, and taking those living in care homes to dental appointments. This service helps get people home from hospital, speeding up the discharge process and helping people settle back in at home.
The drivers have also undertaken emergency food shops and prescription collection/deliveries for the local authority.
Become a local hero today!
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer driver or would like more information, call the HMR Circle office on 0800 032 0868 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, please visit the HMR Circle website: www.hmrcircle.org.uk.
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