Guernsey Press

Call for help from volunteer to maintain shopping trips

AN ISLANDER is calling for a helping hand with the weekly community project he started more than a decade ago.

Tony Corbin is looking for someone to carry out his weekly shopping trip service while he is away for three weeks on holiday and also other drivers for long-term support. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31948523)

Lions Club member Tony Corbin has been running his shopping service for 12 years since he retired, taking mainly elderly islanders who cannot drive to and from the Co-op.

He is going on holiday for three weeks from Good Friday and needs someone to step in otherwise the service will not be provided.

‘It brings a tremendous benefit to the community,’ Mr Corbin.

‘Some of the people who use the service do not have families to help, bags can be very heavy.’

Single-handedly, he drives people to the Co-op Grand Marche in St Martin’s every Wednesday, where there is a post office, and the one in St Sampson’s on a Friday, where there is the opportunity to use the pharmacy.

Each journey takes around three hours, with Mr Corbin normally leaving the Ron Short Centre, where he volunteers, at 9am.

In that time four to five islanders are taken to the shop and back.

He said finding drivers, not only as holiday relief for next month, but as long-term volunteers, would keep the service running smoothly.

‘I would definitely like a helping hand. I make about 500 to 600 trips in the winter months alone.’

The initiative is sponsored by the Co-op and uses a Ron Short Centre van, which has wheelchair access.

Islanders only need a valid car licence to drive it.

Mr Corbin explained what has kept him running the project for so long and why others should volunteer.

‘It’s become like a little community with everyone chatting away in the bus, the atmosphere is lovely. There is a lot of banter. You get a lot out of it and it is only three hours, if someone has the time then it would be great,’ said Mr Corbin.

He is eager to find new drivers.

‘It may be me needing the service soon.’

. Anyone interested in volunteering as a driver should contact Mr Corbin directly on 07781 124074.