People using the services of the Badenoch and Strathspey Community Transport Company will soon benefit from a new friendship project.
This is one of two Highland charities that have just received funding in the latest awards from Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland.
Maggie Lawson, the Development Manager, said: “We already run a very well used service where over 130 volunteer drivers help local people who have trouble accessing public transport.
“More than 300 return car trips are carried out every month from helping people attend medical appointments to taking them shopping. However, it is obvious that our volunteer drivers have a lot more to offer so we are now looking at setting up a way of them having more friendship contact with the people we support.”
She added: “People will be matched up, and to do this we need a new part-time member of staff and that is what this funding of £4,161will help pay for. It’s very exciting to be able to develop our existing services and is great news for the vulnerable local people who we already support.”
Mary Craig OBE, Chief Executive of Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, said: “The fact that so many people use these transport services every week shows what a great job Badenoch & Strathspey Community Transport Company is doing of engaging with a group whose circumstances mean they are often hard to reach.
“It makes such a lot of sense to use the skills of their existing volunteers, and for vulnerable people having social contact can make a huge difference to their overall quality of life.”
She added: “We first funded this work in 2001, and this is our seventh award for them bringing our total support to over £66,000. It’s hard to overestimate how important this work is to the people involved, and to their families and local communities.”The other Highland charity receiving funding is Headway Highland, which was awarded £5,000 to help pay the salary of the Development Worker. This funding is part of the Foundation’s latest awards to charities across Scotland which saw 37 charities share a total of over £154,000.