Volunteer driver service motors on

A volunteer driver service that helps patients get to and from hospital is recruiting for more people to help.
Since it started five years ago, the service at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has made more than 4,500 patient journeys.

The small dedicated team of volunteers involved have driven more than 124,000 miles, helping patients who have difficulty getting to and from hospital.

And now the team is looking for more people to get involved and give up their time to help.

Volunteer co-ordinator Paul Wharton said: “We have a fantastic team of committed people volunteering to help.

“Over the last few years the service has been an enormous success and has become very well established. We are helping so many people who otherwise would have a real challenge getting to and from hospital.

“But as it has expanded over the years we need more people to get involved to help run this vital service.”

The service now runs Monday to Friday, from 11am until 6pm, and has an office base in main outpatients at the University Hospital of North Tees.

Colin Ogden, from Seaton Carew, is a retired former waste management manager at Hartlepool Borough Council.

He said: “I’ve worked for a few years now and really enjoy the role. I’ve met a lot of lovely people.

“It’s fantastic to be able to do something where I know I am helping someone who otherwise might not get that help.

“Anyone joining the service will be working with a dedicated and friendly team of volunteers who are all doing their very best to help patients in need.”

For more information email paul.wharton@nth.nhs.uk or call 01642 383933.

Volunteer drivers can be booked by contacting the service desk on 01429 522550.

Pictured are (left to right): Volunteer co-ordinator Paul Wharton with drivers Colin Ogden and John Wells.

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