Charity car service lifeline to elderly

A Wetherby woman says being reconnected with friends has changed her life, three months after a charity transport scheme came to her aid.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 2:55 pm
Asian elderly woman wear face mask in car or taxi prevent from covid-19 pandemic illness crisis. New normal and social distancing concept

Josie, aged 86, is driven by volunteers to friendly meet ups, social events and charity activities thanks to the Wetherby in Support of the Elderly’s (WiSE) pick up and drop off service - saving money on taxis in the process.

The WiSE Transport Service is designed to curb loneliness by helping isolated, older people who cannot drive to get to certain appointments and social engagements they would otherwise miss.

Josie said: “Unfortunately I’m no longer able to drive, and I live alone which can be lonely at times.

“This service means I can get out and see people and I can also attend the regular activities WiSE put on.

“The volunteers are so reliable, caring and helpful. It’s lovely that someone picks me up and makes sure I’m where I need to be. They bring me home and make sure I’m in the house before they leave.

“I wouldn’t be able to cope if I couldn’t get out of the house. This service means I can see friends and spend time being social – and enjoying life.

“It would cost a lot more to have to get taxis. I’m very grateful for the service and don’t know what I’d do without it.”

The WiSE Transport Scheme was launched in 2015 to provide a door-to-door pick up and drop off service for people over 60 who are less mobile, don’t drive, or struggle with public transport.

The service is now well established, with a number of trusted volunteer drivers who will collect a service user and drive them to appointments, activities, or simply meet ups with friends.

Transport Co-ordinator Jo Roberts, said: “This service is a lifeline to many older people who want to get out and socialise, but struggle with the logistics of getting from A to B.

“The scheme – which is more cost effective than a taxi service - helps our clients meet their friends, keep appointments and enjoy the many activities and events WiSE has to offer in Wetherby and surrounding areas.”

Drivers are able to accommodate fold-up rollators or walking sticks, but unfortunately can’t take wheelchairs.

To keep people safe, transport is currently restricted to one passenger per car, with face coverings still required.

For more information, or to book transport, contact Jo on 01937 222066 or email [email protected]