Appeal for volunteer drivers in St Albans

VOLUNTEER drivers are being urgently sought to help patients reach hospital appointments in and around St Albans, Hemel Hempstead and Watford.

West Herts Hospitals Trust has put out an appeal for help for less mobile patients who need to get to hospital during weekdays.

To volunteer you need to be over 18, have a car and a full clean UK driving licence, insurance cover and MoT.

You can make as many or as few collections as you like, although the majority of drivers do between five and 24 hours a week. Petrol and out of pocket expenses will be paid for.

Brian Fletcher, who has been volunteering for three years, said he found the job “extremely satisfying.”

He said: “People are always happy to see you and greet you with a smile. Sometimes a conversation with a friendly driver is the highlight of their week. If you enjoy contact with people who need help this is the job for you.”

Many of the people Brian helps have little contact with anyone else during the week so he is as much a friend as a driver. In the past he has even been asked to take, “the scenic route back” so that a patient could enjoy the ride home.

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Equally a patient may find the prospect of visiting hospital incredibly daunting and having a friendly face for reassurance and to help them to find where they need to go can make all the difference.

Anyone interested in volunteering as a driver or for other voluntary roles in the trust such as being a guide in the reception areas or helping on the wards is asked to phone 01923 217307 or email to request an information pack.