Volunteers’ Week may have ended yesterday, but volunteers’ hard work and determination to help others doesn’t stop, so we still want to share stories our members have sent in about their amazing volunteers! This volunteer profile was sent in by Sally Jones about Roger, a volunteer for Northampton Car Scheme.
Roger has been a volunteer driver for nearly 15 years with Northampton Volunteer Car Scheme.
The Scheme, which transports elderly or vulnerable people to their medical appointments, currently has 1100 registered passengers. A recent passenger survey highlighted that prior to joining the scheme 80% of passengers felt either worried about getting to their medical appointments, isolated or out of touch with others.
The Scheme is supported by the hard work of volunteers, and all 33 volunteer drivers use their own cars and give their time without being paid. Roger has proven himself to be dedicated above and beyond the call of duty.
Roger, a former lorry driver, became acquainted with the car scheme when he underwent a life-threatening kidney and heart transplant. During his recovery he used the service to attend follow up appointments.
As a result of the transplants he was unable to return to his job and decided to give something back to the scheme which helped him back onto the road to recovery.
He commits to driving four days a week and also volunteers his services to patients needing to attend appointments further afield, including London, Oxford and Birmingham – in one year he has driven patients to 622 appointments tallying over 8,500 miles!
Without the scheme patients simply wouldn’t be able to attend their appointments and a recent survey 83% of passengers said that the scheme was a lifeline to them. Roger makes them feel like someone cares.
He acts as an invaluable source of reassurance for patients who are going through similar challenges to their health, something not many volunteers can provide. Even further, he acts as a friend and moral support for people who feel isolated or fearful by waiting with them.
His tireless effort and enthusiasm is an inspiration for new drivers as he teaches them the ropes. Roger takes his role to a new level and relays vital information he picks up about health services to office staff and highlights serious problems that a patient shares with him.
Roger and his fellow Volunteer Car Scheme Drivers won the ‘Volunteer of the Year Award’ at the Northampton General Hospital ‘Best Possible Care Awards’ 2014.
Roger said “I’m so proud that the car scheme has faith and trust in me to help the people of Northampton to get to their doctors and hospital appointments. I love what I do; it brightens up my day to be able to help.”