Having been overwhelmed with hundreds of offers of help from 4×4 drivers in the worst of the snow disruption earlier this year, South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) is again appealing for volunteer car drivers who would be able to offer more regular assistance.
SCAS’ non-emergency patient transport service helps hundreds of people attend planned hospital and medical appointments every day. The service is supported by a professional team of volunteer car drivers who provide transport, using their own cars, for patients experiencing difficulties in travelling to their appointments.
Last year (March 2017-March 2018), the volunteer car driver team took 21,876 patients to and from appointments and covered 527,121 miles – the equivalent of driving coast-to-coast across America around 165 times!
More drivers are required across the South Central region, but particularly in Berkshire, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire, to join the team; people just like Tony.
Tony said “I became a volunteer car driver when I retired because I wanted more to life than just gardening, shopping and decorating. I meet some wonderful people and just knowing you’ve made a real difference to them is a very satisfying feeling.
“SCAS is a great place to work and I can fit in my volunteering around me so if I want to drive five days a week, a few days a week or just one day a week, I can. If you like getting out and about and helping people, then it’s definitely for you!”
Volunteer car drivers come from all walks of life – people who have retired or semi-retired, people who work or study part-time and even some stay-at-home Mums and Dads who are able to provide a few hours service in between school and nursery runs.
Volunteers receive a mobile phone, a competitive mileage allowance and ongoing support.
No previous experience is necessary, just a friendly and caring attitude along with a valid UK driving licence with no more than three penalty points, and access to a modern and reliable four door car.
Volunteers will also need to be at least 18-years-old and be prepared to undertake a DBS and occupational health check.