Tagged: voluntary service

Axed bus service could be replaced… by volunteers

An axed bus service could be replaced with a voluntary service to help keep people on the move.

A local charity is investigating the possibility of replacing the service to enable residents to access key services in the area.

Thirsk District Community Minibus Association said they had been inundated with requests for public transport to replace the old “figure of eight” service through Thirsk and Sowerby – which bus operator Dales and District used to run until just two weeks ago.

The service came to an end as the Campaign for Better Transport claimed North Yorkshire County Council cut more bus services than any other local authority in the country over the last year.

It said a 25 per cent budget cut by the authority, which is currently in the process of cutting its budget by £167m because of a reduction in Government funding, led to a total of 90 different bus services being reduced, altered or axed.

The move comes four years after the Little White Bus service was launched in Upper Wensleydale, which has since won a contract to become the only bus operator for Wensleydale and Swaledale.

The association, which was launched in 1987 and currently operates two minibuses, is now considering running a reduced service, which would be staffed by volunteer drivers and would be funded through grants and donations from the passengers themselves.

 The group is considering running the service from Thirsk Market Place, with a route that would include Sowerby Road, Front Street, Back Lane, Gravel Hole Lane and Topcliffe Road, but has not decided what days or times it would run yet.

A spokesman for the group said:

“We have been approached by numerous residents who are deeply concerned about the loss of this service.

“The cost of a return trip to Thirsk from Sowerby by taxi could be £7 for some residents, and if you are regularly going to the doctors, then going to collect prescriptions and pick up groceries, that could soon mount up and make certain journeys unaffordable.”

 “We are concerned that some residents, and in particular elderly people who were the majority of users of the previous service, may face the prospect of becoming isolated or housebound without a bus service.”

 The group hopes the service could be up and running before the end of May.
Source – Northern Echo, 02 May 2015
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Performing masculinity: teaching the haka to the unemployed

thelearningprofessor

I have just 21 weeks to wait before the start of the Rugby World Cup. To while away the time, I want to remember a rugby-playing Marxist from New Zealand who in 1934 taught the haka at a summer camp for unemployed men.

Bertram in China in 1937 Bertram in China in 1937

James Munro Bertram was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford when he volunteered to spend his summer with the Universities Council for Unemployed Camps (UCUC). Born in Auckland on 11 August 1910 to a Presbyterian family, he came to England with left-wing views and a training in journalism. He graduated in 1934 with a first in English, then took a second class degree in modern languages in the following year.

UCUC, though based in Cambridge, drew support from a number of English and Scottish universities, and is best understood as part of the broader tradition of student social service, sharpened by the…

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Cyril Norwood and a national labour service

thelearningprofessor

Workfare schemes are constantly in the news at the moment. Many of Britain’s historic work camps schemes were very much forms of welfare, aimed at giving unemployed men and other vulnerable groups – including sex workers, people with learning disabilities, epileptics and the tubercular – exposure to a period of therapeutic manual labour.

The idea of some kind of universal voluntary work service for the young, popular among Conservative thinkers when the current British coalition government was formed, seems to have slipped under the radar. But there were persistent campaigns, particularly during the 1930s, for public work – mainly in camps – as a form of universal national service.

Sir Cyril Norwood Sir Cyril Norwood

Cyril Norwood is best known in Britain for his influence on the 1944 Education Act. R. A. Butler, then minister for education, chose Norwood to chair a committee on secondary education, which  produced a report on Curriculum…

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