Catalyst in partnership with SBC are leading on the tendering to provide and coordinate a volunteer driver scheme, from 1st January 2024 to 31st December 2024.
Research by Catalyst into gaps in services in the Borough has identified a strong view that there is a need to provide additional community transport.
During meetings between colleagues from Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council (SBC) and Catalyst, the following proposal was agreed for a scheme whereby volunteers provide lifts in their own cars to members of the client group. The service will be free at the point of use for these clients. The scheme requires an organisation to recruit, train, support and coordinate volunteer drivers and this is expected to be a part-time post.
Following conversations with VCSE organisations currently operating volunteer driver schemes in other areas, the approximate annual cost has been calculated to be £35,000. Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council has agreed to half fund this model, offering £17,500 for a pilot year which would need to be match funded by the lead organisation. Catalyst will provide support to the lead organisation, as required, to source and apply for funding for this. There may also be the option of finding funding using Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) from the private sector who may be interested in sponsoring the scheme.