PACT was set up in the late 1990s by a number of people who recognised just how difficult it is for people without their own means of transport to get to important appointments or even just to get around.
Like similar community transport schemes in other areas, PACT runs as a totally volunteer, non-profit making association. The volunteer drivers collectively do more than 12,000 miles a year (that’s nearly 500 lifts) for those who have need of the service.
Says PACT Chairman, Colin, “In a village where we are not served well by public transport it is wonderful to know there are people who care enough to give really generously of their time and resources to help those who have difficulty getting around.”
How it works
If people living in or around Prestwood are having difficulty getting to important places and have no other travel options left, they can call on PACT for help. Important appointments could be to attend a doctor, hospital, health clinic or dental appointment or to visit a close relative in hospital.
Our clients phone a dedicated number and speak to a helpful telephonist who will arrange a suitable lift to meet their needs as soon as possible. Appointments are handled in a manner that aims to ensure that the client doesn’t have to worry about their journey.
“PACT is really helpful to me. It’s prompt, reliable and the drivers are all so friendly. I really don’t know what I’d do without it,” says Brenda.
Mavis said, “I’m just so appreciative of being able to visit my husband.”
So that it all runs smoothly, clients are asked to give at least two days’ notice so that a suitable driver can be ‘booked’. They are also encouraged to make a very modest ‘donation’ to the driver towards the cost of the journey in line with some stated guidelines. These donations keep the organisation running and volunteers are, in turn, encouraged to claim for their own expenses.
“It’s a pleasure to offer help to those who need it,” says phone operator, Hilary.
What area is covered?
If you live in the Prestwood area, PACT may be able to help you with your travel arrangements to anywhere in the locality including High Wycombe, Aylesbury, Amersham and Stoke Mandeville or occasionally even further by arrangement.
There was clearly a strong need for community transport as there has been a big increase in requests for the service over the past year and PACT looks forward to continuing to meet those needs.
Can you help?
If you would like to be involved PACT would love to hear from you. Although there are currently 36 available drivers, as the number of requests grows, the number of available drivers needs to keep growing too. Without volunteers this valuable service cannot continue to be a resource to the community. Particular areas of need where you might consider helping are currently:
- Volunteer drivers – prepared to make a minimum of one journey per month
- Volunteer telephonists – to look after the phone for a week approximately every 6-8 weeks
Says Co-ordinator, Philippa, ‘PACT provides opportunities for those who wish to volunteer to care for others and is an excellent way of enabling the community of Prestwood to help itself.”
To get in touch
For a lift (or to volunteer) please phone PACT on 07968 641 427.
To find out more go to our website http://www.prestwoodca.org.uk