Getabout Northumberland

Getabout is an access scheme which is operated in partnership by Adapt (North East), Community Action Northumberland and Northumberland County Council.

The overall aims of the project are:
• To provide support to people who have transport issues, particularly those who have difficulty making essential journeys, (for instance to access health related appointments).
• To build up an evidence base giving a better understanding of where gaps in transport provision exist in Northumberland, and of the impact these have on the lives of our residents and communities.
•  Wherever possible to identify appropriate and cost effective ways of addressing those gaps.

There are two main elements to the project:
• A telephone information and advice service backed up by a volunteer driver scheme which provides a safety net for people who would otherwise be unable to undertake essential journeys.  This part of the service is provided by Adapt (North East).
• Support for communities who wish to develop a better understanding of transport needs in their area and / or develop local transport solutions.  This part of the service is provided by CAN and Northumberland County Council.  For more details, click here

Getabout Telephone Information and Advice Service
This is a free service which endeavours to solve transport issues for people who find it difficult to undertake essential journeys.

The service can be accessed by calling: 03333 441 740, giving 7 days notice to allow plenty of time to arrange appropriate support.  (Calls are charged at local rate)

An adviser will discuss your situation, where you live and where you need to get to, to understand what options may be available and then help you find the best solution to meet your requirements.

Solutions have included supporting people to link to community transport schemes and helping them to access existing public transport services.

If no existing solution is available for an essential journey, Getabout may be able to arrange for a volunteer driver to provide a lift in their own car.

The service is suitable for people who:
• do not drive, either because they are too young, have never driven or are no longer able to;
• have no access or limited access to a car as it is not affordable or not there during the day;
• have a mobility difficulty which prevents them from using public transport;
• have no public transport available to them.

People needing to access a volunteer driver need to register for the service and there is a registration fee of £6 for a 6 month period.
Once registered service users can phone Getabout to book a journey.  The cost to service users is 50 pence per mile and service users will be sent an invoice after the journey has been completed.

Becoming a Volunteer Driver
Getabout always welcomes applications from people interested in becoming a volunteer driver for the project.

Volunteers must have a driving licence, at least 3 years driving experience, a confident attitude to driving and be willing and able to use their own car for the scheme.  Personal qualities required include a calm, sensitive and understanding manner when dealing with clients and their family or carers, and an ability to deal with situations, possibly emergencies, which may occur whilst transporting clients.

Drivers are responsible for the comfort and safety of the client throughout their journey, and for maintaining client confidentiality at all times. They are required to comply with all relevant policies and procedures, and to report any accidents, incidents or concerns to the Getabout Co-ordinator.

If you want to become a volunteer driver you will need to fill in an application form, provide 2 references and undergo a DBS check.  You will be asked to take part in a 3 hour induction programme and will be offered ongoing training and support.
Volunteers are paid expenses of 45 pence per mile for any journeys carried out for the scheme.

We are looking to recruit volunteers from across Northumberland.  However we currently have a particular need for volunteers from the Alnwick and Berwick areas.

If you would like to volunteer as a driver for Getabout, or register as a user of the service, please contact Catherine at Adapt on Tel: 03333 441740 or CatherineW@adapt-tynedale.org.uk