Killin volunteer car scheme launched

Left to right: Stephen Kerr MP, Stirling Council’s head of economic development and regeneration Anne Ferguson, Bruce Crawford MSP, Councillor Jeremy McDonald, KDVCS founder Donald Fraser, Councillor Martyn Earl, town break development officer Christine Watt, and town break strategy and engagement officer Daniel Lafferty. Photograph Ron Allner.

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Almost 60 people attended the launch of the Killin and District Volunteer Car Scheme (KDVCS) on Saturday October 27.

The car scheme offers ‘a safe, reliable, friendly and affordable, door to door, voluntary car service to residents of Killin and the surrounding areas, who find it difficult to use public transport to access NHS and other services which support and maintain their wellbeing’.

Originally set up for hospital and medical journeys, the scheme has developed a new constitution to include people who may be isolated, lonely or suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or strokes.

‘We are very grateful for a start-up grant from Stirling Council, which has helped us to set the wheels in motion,’ an organiser told The Oban Times. ‘We are able to pay our volunteer drivers the nationally agreed rates, while reducing costs to passengers who meet our criteria to 20p per mile.

‘We are grateful to Anne Ferguson, who supported us with the grant, and with the efforts of Councillor Martyn Earl and Jeremy McDonald, who have worked hard to raise the issues of transport needs within our communities.

‘The launch rounded off with a presentation of a cheque from Stephen Kerr MP and further donations from the audience of more than £60. We are grateful for any and every donation or grant, as we are keen to keep our costs as low as possible.

‘Our most expensive journeys are to hospitals with 90-mile round trips and much further if patients’ needs are referred onto other hospitals for specialist treatment. All these miles without any direct public transport links.’

Councillor Jim Thomson, convener of Stirling Council’s Environment and Housing Committee, said: ‘It’s brilliant to see this scheme get off the ground and the praise goes to the organisers and local community who have worked hard to make this possible.

‘Volunteering is obviously vitally important in Stirling, particularly in rural communities, and we were delighted to help provide funding to get the wheels in motion for such a great scheme.’