THE FOUNDER of the West Somerset Car Scheme Partnership has been honoured with a British Empire Medal.

Jean Humber, from Withycombe, was awarded the BEM at a ceremony on May 10 for her services to the community.

Lord lieutenant of Somerset Annie Maw presented the award.

Jean founded, developed and continues to support the West Somerset Car Scheme Partnership (WSCSP) – a support group for existing parish car schemes with car scheme members coming from parishes in West Somerset, Taunton Deane and Sedgemoor.

In 2003, Jean saw a real need in her rural parish for a transport service, so she set up Withycombe Wheels - a community car scheme which uses volunteer drivers to help those unable to use public transport because of age, physical or mental disability, ill health or isolation.

A decade later, she continues to dedicate a lot of her spare time to inspire and organise volunteers and run the local service.

Jean Humber said: “Although I have been awarded this medal, there are so many others who are equally if not more deserving and in accepting this award, I truly am accepting on behalf of all those other volunteers involved in the car schemes across West Somerset.”

Somerset County Council says it supports the service through providing guidance and advice on running community car schemes.

Nicholas Margison, transport commissioning manager at Somerset County Council said: "Due to Jean seeing a need in her community all those years ago, there are now 15 voluntary car schemes under the WSCSP. The scheme members now have more than 200 volunteer drivers covering West Somerset, carrying in excess of 3,300 passengers."