Volunteer driver service appeals for new recruits

Volunteer co-ordinator Paul Wharton, left,  with drivers Colin Ogden and John Wells.
Volunteer co-ordinator Paul Wharton, left, with drivers Colin Ogden and John Wells.

A volunteer driver service helping patients get to and from hospital is on the lookout 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 dedicated team of volunteers involved have driven more than 124,000 miles, helping patients who have difficulty travelling to and from hospital. And now the team is looking for more people 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.

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

For more details on getting involved email paul.wharton@nth.nhs.uk or call 01642 383933.

Volunteer drivers can be booked by contacting: 01429 522550.