Sherborne area's Yeo Valley Health Transport off to a healthy start

Blackmore Vale Magazine

A new voluntary health transport group has started with success, having helped people from across the wider Sherborne area attend their health appointments.

Yeo Valley Health Transport was recently launched by a team of dedicated volunteers with the aim of helping those in and around Sherborne who currently lack reliable and affordable transport to and from their health related appointments.

The idea to form the organisation was instigated by Oliver Letwin MP and a small group of enthusiastic volunteers, all of which recognised the need for such a group.

Oliver Letwin MP -- “Through my role as MP I have met many people who struggle to access health related appointments, notably in the villages surrounding Sherborne. Not only do some people struggle to access local appointments, many face serious difficulty accessing appointments in further flung places, such as Bristol or Southampton.

The increasing degree of choice in the health service, combined with the increasing specialisation of hospitals, is going to make it more and more likely that more and more people need to travel a considerable distance either to receive the treatment they seek at the place where it is best provided, or to visit other people who are receiving treatment.

With this in mind I thought that a non emergency health transport group was required to help those in need. Luckily there were others who thought the same and together we established Yeo Valley Health Transport.”

Launched on the 6th of September, Yeo Valley Health Transport has started with a bang having provided numerous lifts to people in need, including trips to Southampton and Bristol.

If you struggle to access health appointments and live in the wider Sherborne/DT9 area Yeo Valley Health Transport can help. Lifts cost 50p per mile and can be arranged by calling 01258 473154 between 10am – 4pm, Monday- Friday. The 50p per mile fee is used to reimburse volunteer drivers their fuel costs and help make the scheme sustainable. Those unable to pay the fee can get in touch with the organisation about their transport options.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the organisation and are critical in helping the scheme achieve its aim of becoming a viable and sustainable service for the future.

Sarah Greening, Chair of Yeo Valley Health Transport, hopes that volunteering with Yeo Valley Health Transport will be an attractive proposition.

“We hope that volunteering with Yeo Valley Health Transport will be attractive as there is a high chance that either we, or someone we care about, will need such a service in the years ahead.

Volunteers are able to offer as much or as little time to the scheme as they want and, when providing a lift to someone in need, can expect full reimbursement for the cost of fuel. There are also a range of management based positions that we will shortly be advertising”

Anyone interested in Yeo Valley Health Transport can visit their website yeovalleyhealthtransport.org.uk and those interested in volunteering can email: yeovalleyhealthtransport@gmail.com or call 01258 473154