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Call goes out for more volunteers to drive GoStart vehicles

PUBLISHED: 11:00 27 November 2018

Tim Hearn, one of the volunteer drivers for GoStart. Picture: JOHN PHILLIPS

Tim Hearn, one of the volunteer drivers for GoStart. Picture: JOHN PHILLIPS

Archant

There's a building army of volunteers driving vehicles for community transport group GoStart.

But there’s still a need for more to help run the service which has become a vital lifeline for people living in and around the Sudbury area.

From a former London Underground train driver to architects and previous salesmen and women to teachers, there’s a mix of retired people helping to keep the service running which offers door to door transport on its Dial A Ride service, hospital trips, weekend days out and a twice weekly service between Glemsford and the health centre, in Sudbury.

John Phillips, from GoStart, said he is trying to raise the profile of the organisation and let people know about their services on offer but that there was a need for more drivers.

“We currently have 22 people driving our vehicles but we could do with more,” he said.

And two of them spoke of the huge benefits they have gained from getting behind the GoStart wheel.

Sue Howting and Sue Batchelor, both 62, who both live in Sudbury and retired to the town from Canning Town, in London, in 2016, said they gained great “warmth” from being drivers and linking up with passengers.

They saw a sign shortly after moving to the town appealing for volunteers and decided to apply.

Sue Howting, who used to be a guard on the Northern Line before becoming a driver on the Jubilee Line for 20 years, operates the Dial A Ride service on Mondays and every other Friday.

She said: “We just love living in Sudbury and the people here are nice as well. You see people in the town and they all recognise you and speak to you and through GoStart we have met a lot of people and it’s been really, really good.

“People here tell us they do not know what they would do without the service and nobody says anything negative about it and they are really so grateful for what you are doing and we feel such warmth from driving these people around.”

Meanwhile, her fellow driver who used to be train captain for 10 years before working in the control room of the Docklands Light Railway said: “People are so grateful to us for helping them get out and about and the service is just so vital for them and the service would not operate without its volunteers.”

She also works on a Monday and a Friday delivering food to the Bridge Project and also carries out mini bus outings.

For more information about Go Start and how to become a volunteer telephone 01787 242116 or email gostart.ct@gmail.com

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