Project information

Christmas Appeal 2017: Transport for Older People

We want to provide more volunteer transport so that older people across Southwark can attend our Christmas Party and our activity groups throughout the year. Our volunteer drivers tackle loneliness. They help older people get out and about and thrive in their local community in later life.

November 2017 - December 2018

Charity information: Link Age Southwark

Link Age Southwark logo
  • Need


    Older people are vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness as their mobility reduces and confidence begins to wane, leaving them unable to leave their homes on their own. Sadly, over half of all older people consider television as their main form of company. Many older people tell us that the transport that we provide gives them their only opportunity to socialise with other people outside of their home and keeps them active within their local community.


    We will increase the number of volunteer drivers who provide friendly, escorted transport so that older people who are too frail to use public transport can still meet up with friends and engage in our 22 social groups, including reminiscence, bridge and singing, and attend our Christmas Party. Our older service users in particular prefer volunteer drivers (compared to a minibus or taxi) as the journeys are shorter and they enjoy the friendship that develops with the same driver over time.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide volunteer transport for older people so that they are less lonely and isolated


    » We will increase the number of volunteer drivers providing friendly, escorted transport for older people.

    What success will look like

    We will provide 2500 volunteer transport journeys to and from our groups and social events

  • Impact


    The project will ensure that older people in Southwark are able to continue to participate in community life outside of their home. We will decrease social isolation and loneliness among older people; increase their physical and mental wellbeing; and improve their quality of life. We will measure this through surveys, questionnaires and case studies.

    Success will be defined as at least 40 older people reporting decreased social isolation as a result of the transport we provide.


    The biggest delivery risk will be not getting sufficient volunteer driver applications. We have a clear strategy for recruiting volunteer drivers including flyers and posters which our existing volunteers disseminate widely in the local community. We advertise specifically for volunteer drivers on and We also have a calendar of community events in the Borough to make more Southwark residents aware of our volunteering opportunities.


    Donors will receive a thank you for their donation with a copy of our impact report, if they haven't had one before. They will receive a bi-annual donor newsletter.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £16,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £500 Volunteer costs DBS background checks to ensure we are recruiting safely
      £500 Volunteer expenses Petrol
      £4,000 Admin Support costs Admin staff costs for calling all our older friend and volunteer drivers and matching them to tasks
      £5,000 Volunteer coordination costs Staff time to recruit, induct, match, support, train and supervise our volunteers
      £5,000 Service Coordination Staff time to assess, support and match older people to volunteer drivers
      £1,000 Printing costs To print new flyers and posters to get the word out there about our need for volunteer drivers
  • Background


    We work across the London Borough of Southwark, which is the 12th most deprived of London’s 32 Boroughs and the 41st most deprived in England and Wales. It has an ethnically diverse population and high levels of disability, illness and frailty among older residents. Social isolation is a key challenge: 43% of older people live alone in Southwark, higher than the national average of 34%, and only 40% of adult social care users have as much social contact as they would like.


    Our services are for over-60s in Southwark who are experiencing or are at risk of loneliness and social isolation.

    Many of our service users experience multiple disadvantage, including poverty, social exclusion, mobility problems and age or dementia discrimination.

    The median age of our service users is 83; 21% are over 90 years old; 65% are over 80 years old; 30% considered themselves to be disabled when they joined our service; 77% are women; 24% are from BAME backgrounds.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Link Age Southwark is a vibrant local volunteering charity with an impressive record of improving older people’s lives and preventing and reducing loneliness and isolation. We are experts in what we do. Since 1993, we have been building connections between people of all ages and backgrounds in the local community. We run over 20 regular activity groups with nearly 400 volunteers. We support over 600 older people each year.

    We have just been named Southwark Charity of the Year 2017.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Gemma Kern

    Gemma coordinates attendance at the groups, ensures that we know who needs transport to each group each week and which volunteer will take them

    Melissa Kent

    Melissa recruits, inducts and trains volunteer drivers and identifies which volunteers are available for which groups to provide assisted transport.

    Robert Larkin-Frost

    Robert administers our volunteer driving service and is the first port of call for our older members and our volunteers.

Link Age Southwark Film