An appeal has been launched to find more volunteer drivers in the Corwen area to help an expanded community transport service provide a lifeline for local people.

The service has had a £100,000 cash windfall and with two new vehicles bringing its Edeyrnion fleet up to three, it needs more people behind the wheel, according to the organisers.

Margaret Sutherland, Chief Officer of the South Denbighshire Community Partnership (SDCP) which runs the service, said: “We currently have five volunteer drivers who drive the 16-seater community minibus but we need to at least double that number.

“We have been able to add a Toyota Rav 4 hybrid SUV to provide dial-a-ride and meals on wheels services and we will soon be taking delivery of a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle as well.

“Our current drivers are all able to drive the minibus but what we need are more volunteers with driving licences to take the Toyota out to help us deliver the extra services we are now able to fund.”

Margaret and her team at SDCP have been able to draw down an impressive £100,000 for the new on-demand community transport system, launched this month by Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones.

It is one of a series of SDCP projects which cover social inclusion, improving access to services and renewable energy generation.

Big Lottery Wales has provided them with £350,000 over four years and local rural regeneration agency Cadwyn Clwyd, also based in Corwen, has provided a further £52,000 over three years from their LEADER project funding together with £42,000 from the Bus Services Grant.

According to Margaret, everything is in place now except for extra drivers and she is hoping they will now come forward to take the wheel of the brand new Toyota.

She said: “They don’t need to worry if they think they might have to drive the 16-seater, we really need people to take the Toyota Rav 4 out for the dial-a-ride and meals-on-wheels services which we are rolling out.

“We simply cannot provide the services without volunteer drivers and we would really like to hear from anyone who can give three hours of their time a week.

“Volunteering benefits the community and for the volunteer it can be very rewarding and enjoyable.

“People volunteer for many reasons, for some it is about giving back to their community, for others it can be an opportunity to gain new skills and experience to improve job prospects.”

Among the team of drivers is retired motor vehicle accident manager Alan Hodgkinson, from Corwen, whose D1 licence enables him to drive the minibus and he said: “I drive every couple of weeks and I do enjoy it.

“I especially like the longer trips because it’s great to build up a rapport with the passengers and it’s a good scheme which we need to promote so that more people take advantage of it.”

His colleague, Peter Edmondson, who lives in Glyndyfrdwy, said: “They asked me to drive for the inaugural event when they got the bus eight years ago and I’m still here.

“I’m lucky enough to have good health so it’s great to be able to put something back into the community and help others who perhaps aren’t as fortunate and it’s helped me make a lot of friends in Corwen.”

The Toyota will provide dial-a-ride services as well as a new and enhanced meals on wheels service for the area while the Nissan Leaf arrives in October and will be available for hire for people with a driving licence who can hire it for a half day up to a week if it is available.

The community bus, which is wheelchair accessible, will continue to bring people to the regular activities which take place at Canolfan Ni, for outings and for shopping trips to Llangollen and is available for hire to local community groups.

Margaret said: “The programme we have come up with follows six months of consultations with the local community to see what services they were lacking and what they wanted.

“As a result of the feedback from that one of our priorities is to improve access to services, especially for the vulnerable and isolated, and the new, extended community transport system will help address this.”

To volunteer as a driver contact South Denbighshire Community Partnership on 01490 266004 or by email to

For more information on the Meals On Wheels service contact