Round-the-world drivers in need of help

A community car group which clocked up enough miles last year to drive around the earth's equator is looking for more volunteers to steer it towards further success.

A community car group which clocked up enough miles last year to drive around the earth's equator is looking for more volunteers to steer it towards further success.

The Great Massingham Area Community Car Scheme was set up five years ago to enable elderly people or those without access to transport to get to their local doctor's surgery.

As the popularity of the scheme grew, its team of drivers rose to 45, using their own cars to take passengers of any age to destinations including shops, clubs and the hairdressers.

In 2008, the community-conscious cabbies made 5,538 journeys totalling 39,348 miles - more than enough to travel around the circumference of the world, which is almost 25,000 miles.


You may also want to watch:


But because many of the volunteers are themselves now becoming too old to drive, the group's chairman Sheila Swale urged more people to pitch in to help their neighbours.

'The scheme has been a huge success since we started five years ago, but inevitably the people with the time to give are those who are retired,' she said. 'A few years on, we've begun to lose a few of them and we need to attract more.

Most Read

'From doing about 20 trips a month five years ago we are now doing between 300 and 400 most months.

'We think that it is just as important for people to be able to do their own shopping and visit friends or clubs as it is for them to see the doctor, dentist or optician - and we make this possible for them.

'We are constantly being told by passengers how much they appreciate the service, how it is a real lifeline for them and asking how on earth they would manage without it. This makes it all worthwhile.'

The door-to-door service normally accepts journeys within a radius 20 miles of Massingham and also serves the hospitals and surgeries at King's Lynn, Docking and Burnham Market.

Passengers pay a standard fare of 40p per mile, with the driver's 'dead miles' travelling to and from pick-ups funded by grants from Norfolk County Council, West Norfolk Council, Gt Massingham Surgery and parish councils.

The group is looking for new volunteers living in Bircham, Docking, Harpley, the Massinghams, the Rudhams, Syderstone, Wicken Green or the Weasenhams.

To volunteer or to book a trip, contact 01485 520823.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter