Driving up self-esteem is just one benefit of volunteering with a transport charity.
The top ten benefits of volunteering have been highlighted by transport charity Newton Abbot Community Transport Association (NACTA) which has called for new drivers.
The organisation was founded 30 years ago and has since helped thousands of vulnerable and isolated people to get out and about across the district.
Lives have been changed for the better by NACTA’s fleet of vehicles and, crucially, those people who get behind the wheel.
While a small number are paid staff, many are volunteers without whom the service would fold.
With demand picking up as the country fights back from the pandemic the charity has launched a quest to boost the number of drivers on its books.
‘Make no mistake, by becoming a volunteer driver you will improve not only our customers’ lives but yours too,’ said NACTA Chair Nigel Canham.
‘From personal experience of volunteering I know there’s a reward to be had that’s about something more than money.
‘I didn’t need proof but checked anyway with a major recruitment firm Indeed.com.
‘They list the top ten benefits of volunteering as providing a sense of purpose, a sense of community, meeting new friends, increasing social skills, improving self-esteem, gaining skills, better job prospects, fun, happiness and getting people out of their comfort zone.
‘That’s quite a return on an investment of what might be just a few hours a week.’
Now driving two days a week with NACTA he said: ‘I wanted to do something useful rather than just sit around and I like the craic I have with the passengers.
‘Some have even phoned in saying how much they appreciate what I’d done for them and it makes you feel good when they take the time and trouble to say how much they’ve enjoyed something.’
NACTA operates out of offices within Newton Abbot multi-storey car park and provides services across much of the district.