Volunteer Driver Service comes to HMR Circle

Following on from the unfortunate closure of the local CVS, Rochdale Adult Care have acted swiftly to ensure the Volunteer Driver Service (VDS) can continue to deliver the award winning vital service for older people and other vulnerable adults.

Rochdale Adult Care have approached Heywood, Middleton & Rochdale Circle to take over the remainder of the CVS contract for this service and to ensure as smooth a transition as possible for users of the VDS.

Mary Burke who is the Co-ordinator for the VDS has now joined the team here at HMR Circle and we are proud to say that the VDS is back up and running with only a very limited break in service.

The old VDS contact number 0800 032 0868 is now live and connected, so the users of the VDS can carry on using this great service and we hope to allay fears that the service was at risk.

The Volunteer Driver Service, which was awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2015 will subject to contract be joining the HMR Circle family.

Previously hosted by the Council for Voluntary Services Rochdale(CVS) the Volunteer Drivers Scheme has been a stand out service for the borough for several years.

Following on from CVS going into liquidation HMR Circle, working with Rochdale Adult Care have moved quickly to ensure the VDS continues.

Due to the speed of the CVS liquidation, HMR Circle and Adult Care have worked over the last two weeks to ensure the VDS was able to carry on with as limited a break in service as possible.

Mary Burke who is the Co-ordinator for the VDS has joined the team at HMR Circle.

Mary said "The service has been managed by CVS since mid 2011 and in this time has grown hugely in popularity with a constantly increasing membership. In such uncertain times I am pleased that Rochdale Adult Care Services will continue to fund the Volunteer Drivers under the management of HMR Circle and we will continue to deliver an outstanding service built on the dedication and commitment of our team of volunteer drivers and volunteer administrators to the residents of the Rochdale Borough providing an accessible and affordable transport service across the Borough and beyond.

I would also like to thank all of our service users for your continued support of the Volunteer Driver Service and for your patience and understanding during this transitional period."

Mary Added "I would also like to say a sad farewell to Barbara Greer our part time administrator who has decided not to continue with the service at present but will return later in the year as a volunteer.  Barbara joined the Service as a Volunteer Administrator in January 2012 progressing into the post of Part Time Administrator in January 2016 and will be sadly missed by myself, our service users and volunteers alike.  I would like to wish Barbara well in the future.

Mary went onto say "Under the management of HMR Circle I know the Volunteer Driver Service will be able to continue to reach out into the wider community and grow and prosper and I am looking forward to working with the already well established team here at Circle."

Mark Wynn, Director at HMR Circle said, "a lot of the Circle Members use the Volunteer Driver Service and we also have Members who volunteer as drivers as well, so we are very aware of the vital service it delivers around the borough. So when we were approached by Adult Care to see if we would like to help keep this service going we jumped at the chance".

Mark added, "It is our ambition not just to maintain the service but to help it grow and support even more older people and vulnerable adults across the borough."