Volunteer Car Drivers Wanted

Mar 18, 2016 | News

 Geoff Hensby - Volunteer Car Driver

Volunteer Car Drivers Needed in Oxfordshire and Portsmouth

Enjoy driving? Have some spare time and your own vehicle? Then why not apply to become a volunteer car driver for South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS).

Volunteer car drivers play an important role in SCAS’ Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service, helping get patients to and from hospital appointments, taking people home once they have been discharged from hospital and taking patients for regular treatment such as to renal units for patients requiring dialysis.

The Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service operates six days a week (Monday to Saturday) and volunteer car drivers can choose to give as little or as much time as they want though ideally SCAS would like new drivers to be available at least one day a week.

Geoff Hensby is one of 16 volunteer car drivers for SCAS in Oxfordshire. He lives in Cholsey and is based at SCAS’ Didcot station. Geoff says: “I retired at 53 having spent all my working life on the railways or in railway management and felt I was too fit and healthy to be sat at home. I wanted to get involved in an activity that was worthwhile and would give something back to the local community. A friend recommended the volunteer car driver service of SCAS and I love it. Every day is extremely varied, I get to go to new places and meet new people every day. It’s inspiring and very satisfying to know that you’re there for people in your local community who really need you.”

Now SCAS is urgently looking for more people like Geoff to volunteer as the Trust would like to recruit another 10 volunteer car drivers for Oxfordshire, as well as 5-10 volunteer car drivers in Portsmouth as our sole remaining volunteer in the city retired in February.

Beth Whitaker, Volunteer Car Driver Service Manager for SCAS, said:

“Geoff, and everyone who volunteers for us, do an amazing job. We just need a few more people in Oxfordshire, as well as finding new volunteers in Portsmouth, as this will really help us improve the level of service we can give to patients who would otherwise struggle to make it to or from a hospital or treatment appointment. It’s also a very satisfying role for our volunteers – as can be seen by the fact that Geoff has been with us for over 20 years!”

New volunteers must have no more than three points on their licence, own a five-door vehicle with a valid MOT and have fully comprehensive car insurance including a clause to carry patients. New volunteers will undertake a driving assessment and SCAS will carry out a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. In return SCAS will supply a uniform, equipment, identity card and reimburse the volunteer for mileage and any other expenses incurred, for example, parking charges.

If you’re interested in helping local people in your community as a Volunteer Car Driver for SCAS, please send an email to volunteer.cardriver@scas.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 9801 (option 5) for more information.