Lifestyles Helping Hands Seniors Association, a non-profit organization is looking for generous, empathic and compassionate people to volunteer their time in driving seniors to and from their appointments. Drive some happiness; give a senior a ride!
What’s all this about???

Well, what we do is door through door outreach personal supportive volunteer driving services. There are many safety issues to consider when becoming a volunteer driver. Even with clear standards and screening procedures in place, liability and risk issues weigh heavily on community service agencies and their volunteer drivers. When involving volunteers as drivers, there are a number of important issues that individuals and Lifestyles Helping Hands Seniors Association (LHHSA) must consider.

Upon receipt of a volunteer application form, LHHSA insists on all new volunteer drivers apply for a Vulnerable Sector Security Clearance application with Edmonton Police Service. LHHSA covers the costs of these Clearances. Once a clear security clearance is returned to LHHSA, which often takes two weeks, then the driver can likely become a volunteer driver with us. Generally, small difficulties or older difficulties, we can help by working with the possible volunteer to receive a pardon from the Canadian Government.

From here, a copy of the volunteer driver’s driver abstract is required. Again, LHHSA pays for the volunteer drivers abstract either through arranging us a charge account with an Alberta Registry business where we pay the monthly invoices for the charges or we reimburse drivers directly after the volunteer drivers themselves purchases an abstract from any registry business. It is preferable that volunteer drivers have no record on their license at all but an occasional exception of an older accident details or of a ticket from another area, is acceptable. Driver abstracts are required every three years.

Proof of a valid driver’s license, valid vehicle registration and valid insurance is required by LHHSA. Generally, a volunteer driver will already have these items as the bare minimum to legally drive!

As with all volunteers, LHHSA follows good practices for recruitment and asks for the contact details of two people who can act as references. LHHSA also asks for an emergency contact in case of the driver falling ill or other eventuality.

Lastly, a volunteer driver will need to sign LHHSA and Drive Happiness’ Code of Ethics, the Oath of Confidentiality and the Volunteer Driver Statement of Understanding to show that they have read and agree with the said documents. These forms can be provided by calling the LHHSA office.

Vehicle Safety:

LHHSA needs to be reasonably sure that the vehicle the volunteer is using is safe and clean. LHHSA speaks with the volunteer driver about this safety issue if they are driving an older car; and trust the volunteer driver maintains their car in the manner that they would expect as if they were putting their cherished grandparent in it!

Gas Reimbursements:

LHHSA charges its members $8.00 for a 90 minute trip. This trip can be one-way or round trip. The member provides a ticket to the volunteer driver for every 90 minute trip. Our volunteer driver is then reimbursed $8.00 for every ticket that they submit with their driver log to LHHSA office. Please note that this reimbursement is only to cover the cost of gas; the volunteer driver’s time, as with any volunteering is not provided compensation. A volunteer driver’s time is what we term the “door through door” outreach personal support that is tied in with the volunteer driving services.

Database Management of Rides:

In order to keep track of appointments, volunteer drivers, and our senior members, LHHSA utilizes a ride scheduling database software called RideScheduler®. For this reason, LHHSA insists on having all rides booked through the office and knowing where the seniors are to be picked up and where the seniors are going.

RideScheduler® is a web-based program, allowing volunteer drivers to access the database of available rides from the convenience of wherever they have internet access. Volunteer drivers can then select the rides from the available pool that best suits their schedule.

Safety and Privacy:

LHHSA specializes in “door through door” volunteer driving services which is what our elderly members need to live independently and safely in their own homes and . So we pick up the members inside their door and return them safely to their door – ensuring they have arrived safely inside their homes. In addition, a volunteer driver needs to assist the member in and out of the car, and should address the member directly in how the member best feels the volunteer driver can assist them. Inappropriate or excessive touching is strictly prohibited; thus it is in the best interest of the volunteer driver to ask the member clearly how they which to be assisted.

We encourage volunteer drivers to park carefully in brightly lit areas when it is dark and to lock cars carefully. Volunteer drivers are recommended to drive with the windows closed and doors locked, at all times. Ensure that all member; be they be sitting in the front or in the back seats of the car, have their seat belt on. LHHSA requests the picking up of hitchhikers or even friends be limited at all times, as other passengers have not the clearance that is required to interact with the member. In addition, we need to know who is in the car with members.

Volunteer driving is not like other volunteering opportunities. You have flexibility when YOU, the volunteer, can give time. You learn the city shortcuts, ☺ and you get to have some awesome conversations with members who have truly been “around” when it comes to life.

Give us a try. You won’t be disappointed you volunteered to drive.

Call us!! (780) 424 -5438
Email us!! info@drivehappiness.ca