Wrington Help Line 25 years of voluntary service
The idea of Helpline was conceived by Jean Pattison in 1987 and put into practice in.September of that year.
The first committee meeting chaired by John Maggs was attended by Alan Margerison, Angela Carey and Mrs Criddle. It was noted that £513 was raised at a start-up fundraising lunch party, held at Jean and Brian Patterson's home.
Unfortunately our records do not show everyone who took part in launching Helpline but we are
eternally grateful for their foresight and energy. John Maggs was the first chairman/controller, followed three years later by Philippa Perks who was assisted by Sarah Macalpine and Norman Jackson as Treasurer.
After 20 years Philippa stepped down as organiser and was replaced by a team of six controllers who each spend a week at a time receiving requests and finding drivers to take clients to medical appointments or hospital visits. We are not, and of course, cannot be an emergency service. Primarily we are available for those who cannot transport themselves to their medical appointments or hospital visits.
In 25 years our volunteer drivers have travelled 95,000 miles in serving our community. We will reach the 100,000 mark sometime in 2013.
All of us at Help Line are delighted to be able to serve our locality in this way. We truly enjoy the contact we have with our clients and get a real lift out of the experience.
Help Line evolves continually; our organisers and drivers play their part and are then, in due course, replaced by other kindly and concerned participants. We all agree, the thread of continuity will not be broken as long as there is need for our service.
To that end we need to recruit new volunteer drivers. Recently retired car owners, or those who could be available a couple of times a month, are the people we need. Drivers are reimbursed from our donation revenue, at the rate of 42p. a mile (a typical visit to either Weston-super-Mare or the Bristol Hospitals costs Help Line £11). This income comes from clients who donate what they can afford, and from generous local benefactors (both individuals and organisations) who help us from time to time.
Should you need to use our service, call us on 0709 298 3064.
Please remember that your call will cost you 50p a minute. When you get through, give details of your name and telephone number only. The controller will call you back as soon as possible. If you reach the Answer phone please leave as brief a message as you can.