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Jeanne Heal

Volunteer Jeanne Heal

Jeanne Heal, a 72-year-old resident of North Walsham, has been a dedicated Travel Norfolk volunteer driver for the past 18 months having previously volunteered for other North Norfolk voluntary groups for more than 10 years. Here she tells us about the role and why she does it.

I've always been committed to helping the community in North Norfolk and, having spent a lot of my working career in the area, I know the challenges people face in getting around this rural part of Norfolk. I also love people and enjoy driving so this really is an ideal role for me.

As a volunteer driver I enable people to keep various medical appointments, necessary shopping trips, visit relatives in hospital or care homes. People can be anxious travelling, I enjoy chatting, listening to people and sharing experiences with passengers which seems to put them at their ease.

Without the service, passengers have expressed that they would be unable to attend appointments. In the past 18 months I have volunteered with Travel Norfolk Car Scheme every journey has been a pleasure, it is satisfying knowing that passengers feel safe during their journeys.

I have volunteered all my adult life in various roles. Volunteering provides a wealth of experiences and insights into the challenges of living in a rural community. My journey as a volunteer has sharpened my patience and active listening skills. It also enables me to improve my driving skills to ensure that passengers have a comfortable and safe journey.

Is Volunteer Driving right for you?

If you're considering becoming a volunteer driver for Travel Norfolk Scheme, here's what you need to know.

To join our team, you'll need:

  • a reliable, roadworthy car,
  • a valid driver's license,
  • some available time most weeks, and
  • the confidence to navigate local journeys, even to areas you might not be familiar with.

Typically, our volunteer drivers are assigned a specific operating area not too far from their homes. When transportation requests come in, the team will get in touch with drivers via phone or email to confirm their availability.

It's important to note that while our volunteers generously offer their time, drivers are reimbursed by the client for their expenses at the nationally recommended mileage rate of 45p per mile, which accounts for wear and tear on their vehicles.

Jeanne said: "If you enjoy meeting people and driving, go for it!" Her journey as a volunteer driver with Travel Norfolk Scheme serves as an inspiring testament to the positive impact that individuals like Jeanne can have on their communities.

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