Loneliness and isolation can be soul destroying for elderly residents stuck at home.

Statistics reveal nearly half of over 75-year-olds live alone and 7 per cent of people aged 65 or over in the UK say they always or often feel lonely, according to Age Concern.

However, when volunteer driver Sonya Gilder turns up at their door, it can brighten up their week.

Mrs Gilder is one of about 50 volunteers with Braintree Council’s community transport service and has helped with the 62,000 passenger journeys which took place last year across the district.

The mum-of-one of Neale Road, Halstead, became a volunteer last August and describes the feedback she gets as “lovely”.

The council is appealing for more volunteer drivers to come forward and it is also encouraging people to get in touch if they think a friend or relative could benefit from the scheme.
For more information email community.transport@braintree.gov.uk

You can also call 01376 552525.


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