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Volunteer Now seeks community drivers to help people in Belfast and North Down

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Volunteer Now seeks community drivers to help people in Belfast and North Down

Volunteer Now, the lead organisation for volunteering in Northern Ireland, is seeking drivers to help support individuals and families in need across Belfast, Ards and North Down.

Our popular Volunteer Driver service plays a pivotal part in its community outreach. There is an immediate requirement for volunteers to help drive isolated older people who have little support from friends and family to medical appointments across Belfast, as referred to Volunteer Now by the Belfast Trust.

Drivers are also required to help transport children, referred to Volunteer Now by the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust, in getting to and from school, summer schemes and other appointments.

One person currently using the driver service is Jeanette from East Belfast. Her driver, Jim McAleenan from the north of the city, has been a volunteer driver since 2022.

Jim explains: “I was a lorry driver all my working life but I had an accident which meant I could no longer drive lorries, only cars. I found not being able to do my normal job quite isolating. I wasn’t really talking to people much and not getting out of the house. Then I found myself past retirement age, so I went in for volunteering and that really gave me back my ‘get up and go’.

“Being a volunteer driver doesn’t just get me out and about, it also lets me meet and chat to good people, like Jeanette, who I’m very happy to help. I take Jeanette to any appointments she needs to get to and we have a nice chat with one another on the way. Knowing that I’m helping people is great and driving helps me feel more like my old self. Volunteering gives you something to occupy your mind and a chance to be social while you’re helping somebody out. I couldn’t recommend it enough.”

Speaking about her experience of the volunteer driver scheme, Jeanette said: “I honestly can’t put into words how much help I get from having somebody like Jim in my life. I live on my own and I have had a very tough few years. Things can get very lonely at times. Thanks to Volunteer Now, Jim collects me and takes me to appointments or get togethers that the organisation puts on. I’ve also been given a befriender who I meet every week for a coffee and a little chat.

“Jim is an absolute gentleman. He has never let me down once and has changed my life like you wouldn’t believe. He said to me, ‘Jeanette – if you’re ever stuck and need help, just you let me know’. You don’t get many people like that in this world and I am so very grateful.”

Since 2020, isolation has become an increasingly concerning issue, as Lindsay Armstrong, Community Projects Manager with Volunteer Now explains: “The pandemic really highlighted the increased levels of isolation in our local communities, even within busy towns and cities where people are surrounded by others. The role of our volunteer drivers is therefore more important than ever. Jim is just one example of the wonderful people who give their time to drive people like Jeanette in helping live a more connected, more integrated life.

“People use our volunteer driver service for many reasons. Perhaps they have a lack of family support, have limited mobility or are unable to arrange for taxis or use public transport. Perhaps they simply don’t have anyone they can rely on. That’s where our brilliant volunteers come in. If you love to drive, have access to your own vehicle and love to meet new people, this role could help change someone’s life – and perhaps yours too,” Lindsay said.

Click the link below to find out more about the current volunteer driver positions available with Volunteer Now:


Volunteer Driver Jim McAleenan with Jeanette from East Belfast and Victoria O’Neill of Volunteer Now

For further information contact Sarah Bell at ElseWhere PR on

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