Voluntary car schemes operate with volunteer drivers using their own vehicles to take passengers to pre-booked destinations. These are often for medical appointments, but can also be for other reasons.
The schemes typically charge an annual membership fee. The passenger then pays the driver for any trips - this is calculated on mileage.
Passengers book a journey in advance with the scheme co-ordinator who matches up the travel requirement with the drivers available. Drivers collect passengers from their home, taking them to their appointment and returning them back home.
Services are often subsidised by Northamptonshire County Council.
Serve’s Voluntary Car Scheme covers people who live in Rushden, Higham Ferrers, Raunds, Irthlingborough, and the surrounding villages.
They can cover hospital appointments in places such as Leicester, Oxford, and Stoke Mandeville, as well as the usual local medical facilities.
All drivers have a full induction, DBS check and receive full training prior to their volunteer work.
Children must travel with their parents or carers.
Wheelchair accessible vehicles are available. In addition to the normal expenses, there is a surcharge of £10 per journey for the wheelchair accessible vehicles, which should be booked 5 days in advance of the appointment.