Driven is an affordable charitable door-to-door transport scheme supporting vulnerable and isolated people in the Wigan Borough.
The Proper Good team got the chance to speak with Programme Manager Ian Tomlinson, about the fantastic work they do for people in the area.
Six years ago Driven was set up as a community transport organisation. It started when Ian was asked by Wigan Council what transport services people used, and if there were any issues they could support.
He said: “As I typed in that resolution box, the box got bigger, so I kept typing as I had a lot to say, after it was submitted, I got a call from the council saying, ‘your idea to solve this problem, can you make it happen?’”
And, that’s what Ian did, by gathering a team of volunteer drivers and setting up Driven.
He added: “Driven look after people who are isolated and lonely and are struggling to get out. People are referred to us, they can either make a self-referral or families can refer them, or professional partners can make the referral, so from social services or GP surgeries.
“Driven isn’t just for the passengers, it gives carers respite and they know we will look after them,
“The volunteer drivers get lonely too, so it’s good for everyone’s wellbeing and helps people to make new friends.”
Going the extra mile
Theresa was a lady looked after by Driven,
Ian said: “Theresa always cared for her daughter who had special needs, and when her daughter was put in a care home, we took Theresa three times a week to visit her.”
“During lockdown, her regular driver, Eddie, used to stand outside with a facemask and phone, and this allowed them to speak on a Facetime call.
“Eddie would check on her every day, call her, and do her shopping for her”
Driven days out
Driven is starting to promote day trips as they have a 16-seater minibus.
Ian added: “The minibus goes out to care homes, community groups and sheltered schemes.”
“People who live in care homes may struggle to get out because of the cost of transport, but because we use volunteer drivers it keeps that cost down.”
“By using Driven, not only can people afford a trip to Blackpool in these difficult times, but they can afford fish and chips when they get there too!”
Driven is looking for volunteers with their own cars and also those who can drive their people carriers and minibus, take a look here.