Volunteer group struggles to keep drivers due to the rising cost of fuel

WATCH: Charlotte Brier-Edney reports from Cholsey

A volunteer group that gives lifts to elderly and vulnerable people says it is struggling to keep and recruit drivers due to the cost of fuel.

Cholsey Volunteers provides a driving service to get the elderly and vulnerable in the Oxfordshire village to medical appointments and the local day centre.

Now fewer people are volunteering as they can only get 45p per mile reimbursed - HMRC's mileage rate - while fuel is costing them nearly £2 a litre.

Volunteer Stacey Green said: "There are volunteers that have stepped down because of the rising cost of fuel.

Stacey takes a client to the day centre Credit: ITV News Meridian

"They can't necessarily afford to run their cars to do these lifts with the money you get paid for doing it, so that leaves the rest of us volunteers picking up the slack and feeling compelled to offer the lifts as and when we can, really."

She added: "Nine times out of ten they cannot get the bus and they certainly can't walk far so they need us to take them to appointments and escort them to the day centre."

The charity wants the government to increase their mileage rate and do much more to bring down the cost of fuel.

Price hikes have hit another side of the charity too. Every week, volunteers pack and deliver food parcels for families in need, and they're seeing demand grow like never before.

Drivers joined a slow-moving convoy on the M4 near Reading today Credit: ITV News Meridian

Jane Tyndall, Cholsey Volunteers Development Officer, said: "We have about seven or eight drivers who turn up on a Thursday morning.

"They use their own cars and their own petrol and although it's short journeys, there is still an impact because they do it week in, week out."

This morning, protesters in a convoy of slow-moving vehicles took to the M4 near Reading in a demonstration over high fuel prices.

The protest was organised on social media, with drivers gathering at Reading Retail Park before rolling onto the M4 at junction 11 to drive to junction 4 and back again.