A project in Fernhill Heath, a village on the outskirts of Worcester, helping people get into and out of town, reducing the cost of taxis and enabling people to get to appointments or social events could be resurrected. The Five Star Scheme, in initiated a few years ago, was run on a street by street basis (or amongst a small section of the community).
Each household taking part had a card with five stars on it. Each star represented a lift in one direction to a local venue from a neighbour (hospital, dentist, pub etc). That lift would then need to be repaid at some point over the next year. The limitation on the number of lifts meant that at no point are people taken advantage of. The lifts are arranged amongst the group so no local coordinator is required.
Although most people taking part in the scheme had their own cars it was not a necessity to be a part of the scheme. For example, if an older resident, who didn’t drive themselves but who had a local family member who was willing to repay the lifts on their behalf, wished to take part in the scheme they were very welcome. The key to the success of the scheme was the element of mutual benefit and the strict limit to the number of lifts available.
The project was set up by Cllr Tony Miller in response to a growing need for transport within the village.
Cllr Miller says of the scheme:
“This is a great local project which makes a real difference to our local community, enabling residents to live in this rural community whilst still being able to access the essential services in the town without a huge cost.”