Driver Don’s door-to-door aid

Don Jenkins with resident Lesley Tickle from Atherton  Dons first passenger
Don Jenkins with resident Lesley Tickle from Atherton  Dons first passenger

To mark the current national Volunteers’ Week Wigan borough residents are being encouraged to sign up to make a difference in their communities.

Hundreds of residents already devote their spare time to giving something back but, as part of The Deal, Wigan Council wants to recruit even more.

There is a whole host of volunteering opportunities available in the borough from joining a local In Bloom group to helping older people to get online.

Lots of volunteers are already putting their skills to use to give something back in their communities.

Don Jenkins has signed up to volunteer for a new, volunteer-led door-to-door transport service which will connect local people who may be socially isolated to local activities.

The Leigh 71-year-old agreed to volunteer for Driven after meeting the owner, local businessman Ian Tomlinson, at Leigh Pensioners’ Link. Don has lived in Leigh most of his life but had some driving experience in a previous community transport role in Wales.

Since moving back to Leigh he was surprised that there wasn’t anything like it already up and running.

He said: “I know there is a need for the community transport and I was surprised there was nothing in the borough.

“There is a need for something that offers people a door-to-door service, particularly for disabled people or older people who find it difficult to travel.

“I’m retired, it gives me something to do and helps people. It’s nice to do something for the community.

“If you’re thinking about becoming a volunteer just don’t worry, you might think there are big hurdles but it’s not that big a problem.

“Just come along. You’ll be shown the ropes, people will show you what to do and you’ll enjoy it.

“When I first started volunteering it’s a little bit daunting because you feel the responsibility and it feels like a lot to learn at the 
beginning.

“After a while you get to know people and you have your regulars, you can chat to them and it’s a nice thing. It’s really rewarding.”