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What does being a Community Transport driver involve?
Giving a day a week (or more) to transport people from their homes to hospital appointments and back again. I have found that I do become quite involved with some folk who have ongoing appointments, helping them talk through their concerns, showing interest in their lives and families, and just being company for them as they approach surgery or the unknown. Often, we are the only ones whom our clients may see to chat to during the day and so we become a listening ear and a source of help for them. Our clients range in age from babies through to teenagers to the elderly – my eldest was 95. After a life within a profession, one of the best parts of Community Transport driving is that now I can work all day and enjoy myself in the process with no paperwork or assessments to write at the completion of my driving!
What inspired you to begin volunteering?
My mother had always done volunteer work until her mid-eighties, so she set the example. As a child, I helped her to deliver Meals on Wheels. When I took early retirement, I recognised that now I would finally have the time to be able to commit to volunteering.
What do you know now that you didn’t when you started volunteering?
How many new people you meet, streets that you didn’t know and how much fun it would be. It provides me with a sense of purpose and a structure for my day. I have become more aware of the plight of others in my wider community and this work provides me with an opportunity to help in whatever way I can.
What’s your favourite part about being a Red Cross member?
Being able to help my community in some small way. I take pride in being able to share with friends and family what Red Cross stand for and their involvement in the wider community and the world.
How can people get involved in the Community Transport programme?
We are always looking for more people to help in the various aspects of Red Cross. It can be as simple as ringing through to the 0800 number or contacting your local Red Cross service centre. Or send through an 'expression of interest' now.