West Horsley Wheel of Care started in July 2000 and is here to help any person residing in the parish of West Horsley who is in need of assistance. Since West Horsley is in a semi-rural area with a very limited bus service, the assistance requested is typically from older members of the community who do not have their own transport or family and friends able to help. However, the Wheel is here to help anyone in need ... irrespective of their age or financial situation.
Aim and Objectives
The Wheel of Care's main aim is to help anyone in West Horsley so as to ensure they do not become socially isolated and can get out and about to appointments or to meet up with friends.
Other than a qualified teacher paid to lead the weekly Seated Dance and Movement to Music exercise classes (see "Our Clubs"), the charity is operated entirely by local volunteers. Nearly all of the help requested involves car journeys, normally with the “client” as a passenger but shopping and prescriptions can also be fetched for those not able to get out themselves and some small DIY jobs can be done.
The day-to-day operating costs of the Wheel of Care are generally modest and are mostly covered by the donations which those who use our services kindly make. These donations are "standardised" depending on where the individual lives (ie the length of journey), so as to be rigorously fair but the donations are entirely voluntary. There are some larger operating costs which it is difficult to cover with the client donations (eg our annual Film Club licence and the cost of the qualified exercise teacher) so the Wheel of Care does also gratefully accept other donations made. It also, occasionally, applies for suitable and available small grants.
There is a small Committee in place to run the Wheel of Care with each Committee member being responsible for one particular area of administration. The members of this Committee, all of whom are volunteers, are elected each year by the members (ie all of the volunteers) at the Annual General Meeting, which is normally held in May. The Committee meets at least 4 times each year with other meetings being convened if required.
The main service for clients is, of course, provided entirely by our loyal team of local volunteers, many of whom have been with the Wheel since it started in 2000. Of these volunteers, 20 kindly volunteer to be Duty Officers once every 4 weeks. The Duty Officers are the "engine" of the Wheel as they answer the telephone to clients and without them, the Wheel of Care simply could not function.
The Wheel of Care would not exist without our wonderful team of volunteers, all of whom are local residents who have agreed to be called on to do specific types of tasks, such as driving or visiting those in need.
When volunteers first join the Wheel, they indicate which jobs they would be willing to do, on which days and at which times of the day they would normally be free. On receipt of a request, the Duty Officer will then try to allocate the job according to these specifications. The jobs are normally limited to one per month (and not normally more than one hour) but many volunteers say that they would like to do more than this! There are also in place a number of rotas for regular client journeys, as well as helping out with providing teas at the four regular clubs; in fact, about 30% of our volunteers are involved in one or more rotas.
We always need new volunteers to replace those who move away or who are no longer able to drive. Currently, over 70% of our drivers are over 60 years of age so, although many of them will continue to drive for us for many years to come, we need to encourage younger residents to come forward and volunteer!
Alternatively, please use the online Contact Form (on the "Contact Us" page) and we will respond to your enquiry as soon as we can.