Castle Point Social Car Scheme is a local registered charity. It is based at the Tyrells in Seamore Avenue, Benfleet, providing travel for the elderly and disabled residents of Castle Point allowing them to keep their independence.
The car scheme was formed following a report prepared in 1995 for Social Services which indicated that Castle Point had a growing problem, of lack of affordable transport for the elderly living within the Borough. Following this report in 1997 the Car Scheme was set up based on the model of Thurrock Council’s existing scheme. Originally led by Peggy Grant, an ex Mayor, and local drivers were recruited, to use their own cars, giving freely of their time and only receiving a mileage allowance.
By 1999 the scheme had grown to such an extent that a management committee was formed and the scheme was registered with both the Charities’ Commission and as a Company limited by Guarantee at Companies House. The scheme was also registered with The Community Transport Association and their template was used to fine tune the service.
Since then it has gone from strength to strength now having a membership approaching 1000 clients serviced by 35 volunteer car drivers and a team of volunteers in the office taking bookings etc;.
In May 2014 we up-graded our mobility car, a vehicle capable of carrying a client in their wheelchair and up to 2 other passengers, allowing the Scheme to help people who my otherwise be housebound.
Along side the car scheme we run the community Transport using Accessible minibuses, taking clients to Day care centers, Luncheon Clubs, various Church and Social groups. Sometimes we are requested to provide transport for local care homes and other groups to theatres and other outings.
The minibuses are also used to provide outings for car scheme members to shopping centers or social events such as Coffee Mornings, Afternoon Tea, at local venues or visits to places of interest etc;
Since August 2011 we have been in receipt of a 5 year grant from the Big Lottery, this has greatly helped us to grow the service.