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This scheme is available for older people 60 years old and over who find it difficult to use public transport to get to important appointments.

Area covered:  City of Sunderland including Hetton, Houghton and Washington.

The Dial a Driver Scheme’s aims are:

  • To provide cheaper transport to the beneficiary group
  • To enable users to get to and from doctors, chiropodist, hospital and social appointments/engagements
  • To provide support from the volunteer drivers on the way in to and out of appointments, and in the waiting room

How does the scheme operate?

The scheme uses volunteer drivers, and their own cars. It costs 45p per mile, from the driver leaving their own home to their return.  The charge is to reimburse drivers for their out-of-pocket expenses and is paid by you directly to the driver.  They will issue a receipt if requested.

We will always try to get a driver who lives as close as possible to you (or your destination) to minimise costs If going to a doctor’s/hospital appointment, the driver can normally wait and escort in and out if necessary.

If you are going to be longer than approx. 45 minutes, please let us know when booking – it may be necessary to book a return journey. You must wear a seat belt for the duration of any journey undertaken. Quotes can be requested in advance of longer journeys; we have drivers who are prepared to travel to Durham, Newcastle and even further occasionally.

Bookings should be made through Age UK Sunderland – the direct line for this service is 0191 567 4135. (This is an answering service so please state your name and telephone contact number clearly).

Someone will return your call as soon as possible. It is advisable to give at least 72 hours’ notice of a journey. Please remember that there is no one available to take your calls at weekends. Messages left made after 1 pm won’t be picked up until the next working day.

Whenever possible, we will contact you if a driver is unable to undertake a booked journey in order for you to make alternative arrangements.

This scheme is operated by volunteer admin workers and drivers and is subject to the availability of volunteers.