The new chairman of Bucks County Council has made volunteering a top priority for his time in office – and at least he’s one politician who practices what he preaches.
Councillor Carl Etholen, who took the reins from Marion Clayton last month, is no stranger to giving up his spare time.
He is a volunteer driver on Princes Risborough’s Community Bus, chairman of trustees for the Princes Risborough Day Care Centre and works behind the counter in Lacey Green’s community shop.
Mr Etholen, who lives in Saunderton, said: “Whether it’s delivering library books to housebound people, serving on a school governing body, or helping conservation work in our country parks, volunteers do a fantastic job in helping to keep the county’s wheels turning.
“I want to help volunteers to see the benefits of helping locally and the enormous contribution they make to the life of their communities.”
He said of his work on the Princes Risborough Community Bus: “This can greatly improve life in rural communities where commercial services aren’t viable.
“It is a lifeline for local people, and also a wonderful social meeting point!
“We have a lady who travels on the Risborough bus but doesn’t get off anywhere.
“She uses it to meet people and chat!”
He believes community shops can also help isolated rural communities
“There’s scope for opportunities beyond selling produce.
“It can become a community hub for people to meet, and promotes healthy lifestyles by encouraging people out of their homes to get their essential supplies.”