Launched in 2016, Fares4Free is a charity which asks taxi drivers to give up to four fares per month to help veterans of all ages who have difficulty getting out and about.
Many vulnerable veterans do not engage with services without someone to accompany them. They miss appointments which in turn impacts negatively on their life.
Fares4Free help veterans engage with services that they otherwise might not reach. Advice services, training, further education, benefits assessments, food banks and counselling, along with activities like holidays and confidence building events.
Some veterans have complex issues. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), unemployment, addiction, homelessness and isolation. Appointments that might help them are missed due to inability to use public transport or the need for someone to attend appointments with. Fares4Free have Mental Health First Aid trained drivers who ferry, accompany and support.
Fares4Free drivers give groups of veterans, of all ages, lifts to veterans' groups each week. Passengers and drivers go from being strangers to becoming friends and sharing confidences.
Founder, David Gibson, says: "The first time people get in the car, they might say very little. As time goes on, they open up, our drivers listen and, when necessary, ask Fares4Free to help veterans access further support.
"Fares4Free is so simple. Imagine you could get every Taxi driver in the UK to give up the occasional fare for any good cause, you could make such a difference.
"We've expanded across much of Scotland and our idea is spreading to England. We could not have achieved this without National Lottery funding."
To vote for Fares4Free by telephone, please call 0844 836 9712 - Telephone voting calls cost 5p max. A connection charge may be applied by some networks. Please check with your provider.
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