Sunday, 06 December 2020

£750 for volunteer centre

A GRANT of £750 has been given to the Fish volunteer centre in Sonning Common by the parish council.

The money will go towards a new digital booking system for the charity, which is based in Kennylands Road.

Currently all its home visits, car rides and bus trips are booked in paper form using diaries.

Clive Mills, chairman of Fish, told a council meeting that the charity would use the same type of software used successfully by Caversham Good Neighbours for the last four years.

“We have 80 car drivers and 20 people who volunteer in our office,” he said.

“Last year we did 197 return bus trips and carried just short of 2,000 passengers. In 2015 we carried 1,037, so we almost doubled the number of people we carried.”

Councillor John Stoves, chairman of the council’s finance committee, said the charity’s services were “admirable”.

He said: “They are really holding the village together for a lot of people.

“I don’t know how the village would be if it were not for Fish helping people to socialise, go shopping and get to doctors’ appointments.

“It’s providing services which are not provided by government.”

The volunteer centre is also set to employ its first ever member of staff after applying for a £12,000 grant from  South Oxfordshire District Council.

The part-time office manager will help implement the new booking system.

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