A community transport charity has been left on the brink following a 50% drop in volunteers.

BACT community transport ferries people in the Waveney and south Norfolk areas to important medical and hospital appointments as well as for social and shopping reasons. 

The number of volunteers in 2018 was 85 and today it has 46.

Many of the passengers are vulnerable and/or elderly with no alternative options for transport.   

Beth Adams, BACT assistant manager, said: “We have seen a consistent drop in volunteers since the start of the pandemic and it has been a constant challenge to attract new recruits.  

"We are particularly aware of the added pressure and workload on our current team who are often willing to take on more journeys under the current circumstances.

"However, there comes a point where we simply cannot ask our volunteers to take on more.” 

Beccles & Bungay Journal: bact desperately need volunteersbact desperately need volunteers (Image: Archant)

BACT operates in the communities of Beccles, Bungay, Lowestoft and Loddon and the surrounding areas.

But it is reaching critically low levels of volunteers in every area and there are simply not sufficient resources to meet the current demand.

BACT is appealing to drivers who can offer any amount of time to help out.

“Without more help to carry on the vital work by our volunteers, I am seriously concerned about the future of the organisation,"  said Debbie Blowers, manager.  

“We are aware of the importance of the role we play in preventing social isolation and keeping people independent in their own homes by providing affordable transport.  

"However, we are desperately in need of more precious volunteers to ensure this continues to happen."

Volunteer roles can provide new skills and experience for those looking for paid employment.  

For those retired, it is said it provides an enjoyable role and is a wonderful way to keep active and be part of the local community. 

“The feedback from volunteers is always positive, reflecting the reward and satisfaction gained from the position.  

"New drivers, when established in their role, often offer more time as they enjoy it so much,” said Chloe Andrews, PR officer for BACT. 

Drivers receive recognised training, DBS certification and a mileage allowance.  

To get in touch call BACT on 01986 896896 or email on: info@bactcommunitytransport.org.uk


Beccles & Bungay Journal: David and Gerald were volunteer driversDavid and Gerald were volunteer drivers (Image: Archant)