The Storrington Area Help Scheme
(Registered Charity No 1203336)
The original idea of the Help Scheme can be traced back to the original founder, the Reverend John Lambourne who was the curate of Sullington and Storrington in 1973. In a letter from his wife she recalled the following:
“Sitting in the garden of Sullington Rectory with a friend, we were talking about the possibility of setting up some kind of scheme to help people in need, particularly those who did not have any family nearby to lend a hand. We envisaged offering help with hospital and other medical appointments, shopping for the elderly and babysitting in emergency. We decided to have printed white cards with a large printed red H on them that could be put on the window of a house if someone needed help. We arranged with the milkman, the postman and the paper boy to look out for these cards and if they saw one in the window, to contact one of us and we would send someone round to assess the situation and find someone to help from our list of volunteers. “
The present day
The Storrington Area Help Scheme now exists to take people, who have no transport of their own, to attend medical appointments within West Sussex. This includes visits to hospitals, doctor’s surgeries, opticians, chiropodists and dentists. Passengers live within Storrington, Ashington, Cootham, Sullington, Thakeham, Washington and West Chiltington. In 2022 almost 800 people were assisted by the Scheme.
The Scheme has always relied on volunteers to meet its objectives. It is run from an office in Trinity Church in Storrington, manned every weekday from 10am to 12 noon when clients can call to ask if a driver and car can be made available so they can attend a medical appointment. As much notice as possible is required, preferably at least 5 days. A recommended donation towards the cost of the service is appreciated. Volunteer drivers use their own vehicle and will be contacted by the office to undertake a specific journey but can always say no if the time and date do not suit. A mileage allowance of 50p per mile is paid. The office team currently consists of 7 volunteers and there are 35 volunteer drivers.
As the Scheme celebrates its 50th year, new volunteers are always welcome. To be part of the office team requires a regular commitment of just over two hours on one weekday morning every two weeks. As a volunteer driver, a valid driving licence and comprehensive insurance is required. DBS checks on all our volunteers are mandatory.
For more details, either as a passenger requiring assistance for an appointment or to volunteer for the Scheme, the Help Scheme office is open between 10 am and 12 noon any weekday excluding public holiday.