Improving skills and employment opportunities through volunteering

9th January 2023

Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and benefit your personal and professional life.

Workington Transport Heritage Trust relies on volunteers to help preserve the local transport heritage in west Cumbria, including Stagecoach buses. It is these former Stagecoach vehicles that attracted Cameron, 24, to become a volunteer.

Thanks to £1,000 from the Live the Dream Fund, Cameron who is a life-long bus enthusiast, received training to pass his practical bus driving test first time. Cameron can now drive the vehicles he helps preserve, which has been a lifelong dream.

Cameron, from Harrington, said: “Some of these ex-Stagecoach vehicles were the type that I travelled to school and college on, it is a great feeling that I now have the chance to drive some of them on the roads where they spent their working lives.”

Cameron has special educational needs and has since gained the confidence to take on a part time job on the railway.

Since 1997, Workington Transport Heritage Trust has preserved the transport heritage of Workington and the surrounding area. The Trust and its members have developed its collection of locally important buses, fire appliances and other vehicles, including buses that were built by Leyland in Workington or operated by Cumberland Motor Services and Stagecoach.

Cameron can now volunteer and drive the vehicles to local events and open days including local rallies and shows in Distington, Cockermouth, Keswick, Silloth and Carlisle.

Trust secretary Alistair Grey, said: “It is good for the future of the Trust that we have young volunteers like Cameron coming through the ranks, gaining their professional driving qualifications.”

Volunteer coordinator for the Trust, David Wallace, added: “The addition of Cameron onto the driving team will allow the heritage side of the Trust to develop, with his enthusiasm and knowledge for all things Stagecoach it may well encourage some more younger enthusiasts to come forward.

“Our core aim is to restore and display our vintage vehicles at events and this will be made easier with the addition of Cameron  into our pool of drivers.”

The Trust has volunteering opportunities in all aspects of restoring, maintaining, and driving vehicles, building and site maintenance, cataloguing and running the archive, producing educational materials, running trips and events, staffing its shop at Workington railway station, and fundraising.