There are many ways that you can help us support our two refugee families, but what we need most at the moment is a bank of people who have the potential to help out with occasional lifts.
From time to time our families need help with transport – this is usually between Soham and Ely or Ely and Cambridge and may be during the week or at weekends. Ely RRC is a small group of volunteers (some of whom can’t drive) and unfortunately we can’t accommodate all of their requests for lifts ourselves.
If you can drive and have your own car, please consider putting your name down on our drivers’ mailing list. By signing up you are not committing to anything other than to receive an occasional email about upcoming lift requests. We realise everyone has busy lives, so if you are unable to help when a request comes through, that’s fine, just delete the email and maybe you will be able to help in the future.
What are the typical distances/times?
The majority of the lifts are between Soham and Ely (and back) or Ely to Cambridge (and back)
Most of them tend to be before around 6pm although there may be the occasional evening lift request. They can be either weekdays or at the weekend.
What are the lifts typically for?
They are mostly medical appointments, dentists etc but also there are some classes for the children and a monthly social in Cambridge where the families can meet up with their Syrian friends living in Cambridge.
Do I have to commit to a certain number of lifts?
While we would love to have some continuity for the families, we realise that most people are too busy to commit to a regular lift. So there would be no obligation on you as to the number of lifts you provide.
How many people will the lifts be for?
Anywhere between a minimum of one adult or the whole family. Both of the families consist of five people each so for those lifts we usually need two cars. (Let us know in the sign up form if you can seat five!)
Where a baby seat is needed, the family will provide that themselves.
I can’t speak Arabic, will language be an issue?
No! The adults can speak English enough to get by, particularly with the help of Google Translate.
Will I be paid?
We will be happy to reimburse your expenses at 20p per mile. Unfortunately we are unable to pay for your time beyond that. If you agree to a lift and would like to be reimbursed, please let us know when you accept and we will send instructions on how to claim.
Do I need additional car insurance?
No! Your current car insurance will suffice, although best practice is to inform your insurer and we do recommend that you do that.
What is in it for me?
Knowing that you will be helping – and making feel part of the community – a family who are trying to make England their home after living in camps for years. Meeting someone from a new culture can be a rewarding experience.
What about safeguarding?
Ely RRC is committed to safeguarding the welfare of their families and expects all volunteer drivers to share this commitment.
You will not be giving lifts to unaccompanied children, or be present at any sensitive appointments (unless we have performed safeguarding checks first).