We need you!
Help us to provide this important support service for your community
Apply in person
Call in to see us at the following locations to pick up an application form:
Skipton: SCAD, 46-48 Newmarket St, BD23 2JB
Keighley: SCAD, 33A North St, BD21 3SL
Settle: SCAD, Market Place, BD24 9EJ
Crosshills: SCAD, 27-29 Main Street, BD20 8TA
You will need complete a registration form and provide two references.
We will ask you to come for an interview and if you are successful, we will carry out a full induction with you and a Disclosure & Barring Service check.
You will also need to produce various documents relating to you and your car before you can drive for us.
Tell a friend
Maybe you know someone else who can help
The Freedom Wheels service has been set up to help people who are unable to access public transport because of reduced mobility from injury, disability or age, or simply because of where they live.
Using your own car, the scheme connects you with people who need your help to help to get out and about in the simple business of living. Examples of journeys include getting to doctors and dentists appointments, shopping, making public transport connections and visiting friends.
We’ve modelled Freedom Wheels on successful community car schemes which have been running in towns across the UK, in some cases for more than 20 years.
What do I need to be able to volunteer?
You need to have a full, clean, driving licence and access to your own car, with comprehensive insurance cover. You should also have a mobile phone with you on every journey.
You need to use your own vehicle and should have a mobile phone you can be contacted on.
We are asked to provide regular and occasional lifts – you choose how you would like to help!
How much time will I be expected to give?
The amount of time you give is entirely up to you. Some of our volunteers give specific days, some an hour here and there on an ad hoc basis.
You don’t have to commit to any regular day or time, simply let Freedom Wheels know when you are available and we’ll match that to the needs of the scheme users.
How far afield do I need to drive?
Freedom Wheels provides transport for people living in the Craven area, not just Skipton, so we will always try to match a passenger with a volunteer who lives close by. Most of the trips are to local places such as taking people to the doctors, dentists, hospital appointments and to day care facilities. We will also provide transport for people wanting to attend further education and occasionally for shopping trips and social outings.
Longer distance trips, outside the area, are requested from time to time, such as to hospitals elsewhere in the county or leisure trips to the seaside or shopping in another town.
If you would prefer not to travel outside Craven then please advise us when you apply.
When would you need me?
We request that drivers wait for a passenger for up to one and a half hours for the return journey. If the waiting time required is likely to be longer, they may be required to pay for two separate return journeys depending on your availability and/or that of another driver.
What about petrol costs?
We pay you a mileage allowance of 45p per mile for the entire journey from your house to the final destination and back to your house. This will cover your fuel and help towards the running costs of your car. The volunteer pays this amount to you in advance when you pick them up from home along with £1 booking fee which you pass back to Freedom Wheels.
You must also pass back any extra ‘tips’ that the passenger may give as donations towards the service. If you retained these, you could be deemed to be accepting reward for your service, which in turn could invalidate your car insurance.
Some journeys will attract an individual subsidy from NYCC and so the amount paid by the passenger on the day may not cover the full amount which you can claim back. At the end of each month, you will be asked to complete an expenses form with all the journeys and the booking fees taken. Once this has been received and checked, you will be paid the balance, or asked to re-pay the balance of booking fees, depending on the journeys undertaken during the month.
Freedom Wheels uses the £1 booking fee on each journey to help fund the costs involved in the infrastructure of the scheme, including telephone charges, checking references, the safety of the car and the public liability insurance.
What about my car insurance and premiums?
We have public liability insurance which covers you and your passenger whilst driving for Freedom Wheels.
You will have to notify your insurance company to tell them that you will be undertaking voluntary work, but this should not result in any change to your usual premium because you are not being paid for your time.
Most insurance companies automatically include volunteer driving on their existing policies. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has in place a code of conduct to ensure that there are no charges or increased renewal premiums as a result of your volunteering. A list of insurers can be found here with their requirements.
Who will my passengers be?
The majority of our passengers are those with reduced mobility due to age or physical infirmity. They must be able to get in and out of a car without being lifted or needing a lot of assistance. Anyone who needs more than this must provide their own carer to travel with you.
We also provide for passengers with problems such as mild dementia, but consider any behavioural or safety issues very carefully before asking you to provide a lift. If we deem it necessary, we specify that they must travel with a carer.
Generally speaking, you would not be expected to carry pets other than guide dogs unless by prior arrangement. If you or anyone in your family is allergic to animals and you would not be willing to carry an animal, please let us know when you apply to volunteer.
Scheme users are permitted to have friends or relatives travel with them.
We will never ask you to carry unaccompanied children as passengers. It is the responsibility of the passengers to provide the appropriate booster seats or car seats for children travelling with them, unless otherwise agreed with the office, and also their responsibility to ensure that the child is properly strapped in.
If your car can accommodate a wheelchair in your vehicle this will help make more journeys feasible for our users.
Why is this service vital?
Funding cutbacks mean that public transport in Craven no longer services everyone. For those with disability, reduced mobility or who live in villages and hamlets where the buses don’t service regularly, if at all, there may be no other option but the Freedom Wheels car scheme. By giving your time and the comfort of your car, you will be helping us reduce the isolation that these people face, helping them to get out and about to improve their quality of life.
What training and support will I get?
The team at Freedom Wheels has extensive experience in co-ordinating transport needs and volunteers. We will make sure you are familiar with how the scheme works and provide a handbook for reference which covers what you need to know, but we will always be on the end of a phone for you whenever you are driving for the scheme. Additional training, such as in First Aid, may be possible in future.
Passengers are made aware that they will not be permitted to smoke in your car.