Have you the drive to be a Carecars volunteer at Southend Hospital?
15 January 2018
Southend Hospital is seeking more volunteer drivers to take patients to and from their hospital appointments and would love to hear from you if you are good with people, have some spare time and have a clean driving licence.
A rise in the number of patients using the service, along with
several drivers who have stepped down from their role, has led to a
shortage of 'Carecars' drivers, particularly in the Leigh,
Westcliff and central Southend areas.
Jane O'Connell, Voluntary Services Manager, explained how
important the service is and what a real difference it makes for
patients: "Carecars is ideal for patients because it takes away the
stress of getting to the hospital or clinic and patients and their
families don't have to worry about parking. Our Carecars drivers
and booking clerks do a brilliant job."
Patients pay a donation of 50p a mile to use the service, with
voluntary booking clerks finding drivers as close to the patient's
address as possible. Patients with wheelchairs must always be
accompanied by a friend, family member or carer.
Drivers often build up a rapport with their grateful regulars,
for example cancer patient Nicholas Wyre, 56, from Southchurch is
driven to and from his numerous radiotherapy and chemotherapy
sessions, blood tests and other outpatient appointments by Terry
Lundy, 77, and Louis Huntley, 69, both from Shoebury.
Nicholas, who is making steady progress and is hoping to return
to work soon, said: "When you get told you have cancer, you get
swamped with appointments. One of my big worries was getting to
these places on time.
"I didn't have to worry - Louis and Terry have been fantastic.
They've never been late, and it's great to have a familiar face.
There have been times where I have kept Louis waiting as they've
asked me to see the nurse or have another blood test, and not once
has that bloke ever complained."
"I enjoy what I do," says Terry, a Carecars driver for the past
four years. "It's nice to know you can help, it gets you out of the
house and it's a great team."
Some Carecars drivers also help out at the renal unit and
chemotherapy departments. To find out more, please call 01702
435555 ext 6135 or email firstname.lastname@example.org