9th Dec, 2016

Volunteer drivers desperately needed for Solihull MS Society

Solihull Editorial 12th Jun, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

SOLIHULL’S MS Society is desperately on the lookout for new volunteer drivers to help transport their members around the borough following a shortage of men behind the wheel.

Currently the Solihull group only has eight drivers – all of whom are aged 70 or older – who provide a vital social service to transport MS sufferers to various events.

The Solihull branch is run wholly by volunteers who arrange a wide variety of services and activities for the 150 registered members.

However there are now fears over the future of the society’s bus service as an evident drop in the number of drivers is making it difficult for members to be transported to a range of events.

Currently, the society uses its minibus two or more times a week – transporting members to events, hospital and dentists appointments and funerals.

With many members wheelchair bound, transporting themselves is impossible and in some cases even taxi’s cannot cater for large wheelchairs.

Mac McMonagle, who’s been involved in Solihull MS Society for multiple years, told The Observer the minibus service is a lifeline to many members and drivers are an essential part of his operation.

He added: “The main problem is that all of our drivers are now over the age of 70 so we need to find a new generation so to speak.

“I’ve done a lot of work since the age of 60 and we currently have eight drivers registered.

“However it’s hard as we sometimes have to turn our members down for lifts as we simply cannot guarantee that we’ll be able to transport them anywhere due to the lack of drivers.

“Even if we was to attract three or four more drivers who could offer their services for a few hours a month – that would be fantastic.

“Each driver has their own commitments away from their volunteering which is totally understandable, however I want a bigger back up base so we never have to say no.”

If you are interested in helping out the Solihull MS Society, contact Mac on 07760 295351.