One of Pendleside Hospices longest serving volunteer drivers is calling on people to get on the road for Pendleside.
John Rogerson has volunteered at the Reedley-based hospice for the past eight years after learning about the services on offer through working as a part-time ambulance driver, and seeing the care given by the hospice to his auntie.
He said: “Working as an ambulance driver I saw how important the hospice care was to those receiving it. Later my auntie was cared for in the hospice before she passed away and I decided I wanted to give something back to them.
“Pendleside is a brilliant organisation that would be greatly missed if not there; it is well established, well loved and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
John, like most of the drivers, currently volunteers one day a week, picking up patients from their homes either in his own car or in one of the hospice minibuses.
He added: “A normal day would be going to pick up a patient at around 9.30am after receiving a call from the hospice. This could be anywhere in Burnley and Pendle from somewhere like Barnoldswick to Padiham, then I will go to the hospice for 10.30am, spend the rest of the day at home before going to collect the patients at 3.30pm and take them home.
“The role is so much more than just acting as a taxi driver. You get to know the patients and see how much it means to them. For some it is the only time of the week that they are able to get out of the house.”
Volunteer drivers can choose to drive their own car and receive expenses to cover fuel costs. They can also drive one of the two minibuses, however extra training is required to ensure patients are moved correctly.
John added: “I often drive one of the two mini buses which requires more training such as learning to clamp wheelchairs to ensure they are safe and secure.
“Each year we have an annual drivers meeting where we go through any new legislation that comes out and look at things like patient moving and handling to keep everyone up-to-date.
“As a volunteer driver I get a great sense of pleasure and fulfilment. We are always in need of more drivers and I would encourage anyone who has a few hours to spare to consider becoming a volunteer driver.”
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