A CARING cabbie is giving up his Christmas Day to transport people to visit sick relatives in hospital for free - for the fifth year.
Hartlepool driver John Osborne is offering to pick people up from anywhere in Hartlepool and transport them to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, or James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, on Christmas Day.
The 45-year-old says he is more than happy to help people and give up his day at home with his partner Christine Younger, 43, and their four children, Rebecca, 22, Chelsea, 20, Joe, 17, and 12-year-old Sam, to take people to visit their relatives in hospital free of charge.
The buses don’t run on Christmas Day and his generous offer could save families the normal £60 return fare.
Self-employed John, who has been a taxi driver for 19 years and lives in the Stockton Road area of town, said: “I am more than happy to pick people up and take them through to the hospitals in Middlesbrough or Stockton for free on Christmas Day.
“This will be the fifth year that I have done this now and I think it gets more and more important each year.
“It can be difficult for people to actually manage to get through and visit relatives in hospital on Christmas Day and I just want to help out.”
Last year, his kind efforts saw John beat off competition from 359 other contestants, to win Swinton Taxi Division’s Cabbie of the Year 2012 in recognition of his kind-hearted offer, but he said he doesn’t do it for recognition.
John added: “I do it just to try and help those people who would otherwise find it difficult to get to visit their relatives in hospital on Christmas Day.
“With more services leaving the Hartlepool hospital, this is more important than ever.”
People can contact John on 07821338212.