Why not join us?
A really great way of getting to know others is by getting involved in the many activities that Maidenhead Care undertakes.
Maidenhead Care can always use more volunteers. Currently there are typically 20 telephone calls for help each day and over 350 commitments are undertaken each month.
We welcome volunteers of all ages including the active retired, temporarily unemployed, and young parents with a little time to spare. Whether you volunteer regularly, occasionally, or in blocks of time (such as during school holidays) all offers are valuable and welcome.
How can you help – you decide
Transport – as a volunteer driver you could typically be asked to take a client to a local hospital, to their GP or to a similar type of medical appointment. Such trips are usually on a deliver and wait basis where you wait at the location until the client has finished and then take them home. For clients with longer appointments you may decide to drop them off and return at a later time if more convenient.
Befriending – if you enjoy a chat we have lonely clients that would love a visit on a regular basis.
Shopping – we have a number of commitments for volunteers able to help escorting the client around the shops or doing the shopping for them.
Duty Officer – if you would like to volunteer but do not want to drive or visit, then please consider this crucial role. Working in your own home, clients telephone with their requests and you match these to a suitable volunteer on the database. A portable office consisting of a laptop and mobile phone to receive calls are used and full training is given.
What about insurance?
Insurance companies do not normally charge you an extra premium for using your vehicle for volunteer driving; the Association of British Insurers publishes a list of their members where you will see any conditions around volunteer driving that your insurer might have. Click here to view this information. Some insurers want you to contact them to let them know if you do volunteer. There should be no extra charge for this.
Do I need to be qualified?
You do not need formal qualifications (except of course a driving licence to work as a driver!) but we do ask new volunteerrs for basic ID information to allow an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service DBS check to be made. We also request the names of two independent people who have known you for three years or more whom we can approach for a reference. If you are going to use your car as a volunteer you will also need to comply with all the legal requirements for everyday motoring.
Can I claim expenses?
Yes – we ask you to complete a claim form that allows you to record your mileage from your home to the client on to the appointment and the return. The current mileage payment is 45p a mile which is set by HMRC and reviewed every six months. Some volunteer drivers do not claim although we do encourage them to do so.
What are the parking arrangements at hospitals?
We regularly take our clients to the local hospitals. The parking can be difficult but many of our clients have Blue Badges which helps. We also have some “group” Blue Badges which can be borrowed for use on journeys when a client would be eligible for one but has not applied for it. These need to be collected and returned to our badge holder for each such journey.
We issue our volunteers with identity passes which are accepted in lieu of payment at a number of hospitals.
There are many benefits of volunteering as our members will tell you. Apart from meeting new and interesting people and making new friends you will be making a real difference to our local community.
Read what a few of our volunteers have to say:
Why not give us a call on 07538 418448 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and see how you can help?
How much time does it involve?
This depends on you and your circumstances. You let us know what times and days you can help and this will be logged on our system and you will only be contacted to help in these periods. There is no minimum time commitment, we welcome whatever time you can spare. We fully understand that things change and you can modify arrangements at any time. You are under no obligation to undertake any particular request. You will normally receive at least seven days’ notice; however we sometimes receive urgent requests that we try to satisfy.
Who uses the service?
We provide help to people who are finding life difficult for a whole range of reasons. They may not be able to use public transport to get to an appointment due to an infirmity or may need help with the shopping or are just visit the lonely who are in need of a chat. We try to provide the services that enable people to live the life they want to.
Do clients pay for the service?
We try to keep our overheads as low as possible and this is reflected in the scale of the voluntary donations clients make for journews we undertake. The current suggested figures can be viewed by clicking here. There is no membership fee to become a client. The Duty Officer will advise the client at the time of booking what these are so you do not have to negotiate.
Do I have to lift clients?
No – our volunteers are not allowed to lift passengers. When we initially discuss client’s circumstances we check if they have sufficient mobility to walk unaided or maybe need to take an arm sometimes. If they use a wheelchair they must be able to transfer to and from the car seat, and we will check that you are willing and able to lift this in and out of your car’s boot before confirming the job.
What happens next?
Please call us on 07538 418448 or send an email to email@example.com and we will arrange for our membership secretary to get in touch and talk through the options available.