Registered Charity No.1164155
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How we started...

The Voluntary Help Centre for Southwold, Reydon and district was established in 1987. It was, in large measure, Dr Andrew Eastaugh of York Road Surgery who was instrumental in making this happen.

He, in common with other local organisations, was concerned about gaps in social provision; in particular, about the number of people, notably the elderly or disabled, who needed help with everyday things. Without the offer of a lift, for example, many found it difficult getting to the doctor, dentist or optician; doing their shopping or going to have their hair done; visiting friends at home or in hospital; attending day centres and pursuing their interests.

Driving was only one of the service requirements; another was the need for someone to “sit-in” with the elderly or frail to relieve their main carer... someone to do shopping, walk dogs, keep gardens tidy, help with correspondence... someone with the time to befriend and support the lonely and housebound.

The First Annual Report in 1987 stated that 46 volunteers were registered: 421 car journeys were made and 136 non-driving requests were helped with. Today the annual number of journeys is nearly ten times that number and last year our volunteers drove 66,000 miles on VHC duties.