A new initiative has been set up in Kettering borough to give residents of the towns and villages an affordable option to travel to medical appointments.
The Kettering and District Car Scheme gives lifts to anyone who needs it – and will even take its users as far away as Oxford or Birmingham or anywhere else required.
As well as being affordable – drivers do not make a profit from taking part – organisers hope the scheme will give its users a friendly face to look after them on their journeys.
Bob Snellgrove, the chairman of the scheme, which only began at the start of January, said volunteers wanted to fill a gap caused by the withdrawal of a similar option last year, which lost its funding.
He added: “I decided that we wanted something in the locality for the residents. It is run in Kettering for Kettering people.
“We have got about 120 clients so far, and eight drivers. We are looking for more.”
Mr Snellgrove – who says the scheme’s mantra is “anywhere, any place, any time” – explained people in Desborough and Rothwell are particularly receptive to the scheme, because of the awkwardness of getting from the towns to Kettering General Hospital.
And he added: “It’s quite amazing how far people have to go – you have to go where the specialists are. It’s giving them that accessibility to get them where they want to go.
“Many local people don’t get out between appointments and this is a lifeline.
“It needs to be done. I personally get a huge benefit from it as I am repaying the community, I am giving something back.”
The group has been given an office at Kettering Borough Council’s HQ from which it works three days a week.
Prices start from £4.50 return from and to anywhere in Kettering town centre. Drivers, who only cover their fuel costs, will also wait for up to two hours for their clients to complete their appointments.
There is a separate pricing structure in place for clients living in Burton Latimer, Barton Seagrave, Rothwell, Desborough and other villages in the borough.
The volunteers have also appealed for businesses who would like to sponsor the scheme to get in touch. Call 07941 355268 if you can help, to volunteer as a driver or if you would like to use the service.