The call has for help has gone out to the Cambridge community, with Red Cross drivers desperately needed in town. Red Cross Community Transport Coordinator Jan Nesbit said demand for the service – where volunteers take people with limited mobility to medical appointments in Hamilton – has doubled in the past five years, up to between 80 and 100 calls a month.
“There are a lot of very frail and vulnerable people in Cambridge, and this service is a big benefit to them,” Jan said, adding that even if she could get one more volunteer for a day a week it would be “just spectacular”.
Juggling drivers and appointments can be a challenge, Jan said, adding that of the 20 volunteers on the books, only four are available at any time. “As we’ve built up, we’ve had to double up trips, which is quite stressful,” she said.
The volunteer escorts the patient into their appointment and waits in reception before escorting them back to Cambridge, which is particularly good for those with limited mobility who may need extra support.
Of tremendous benefit to the patient, the scheme has also given a sense of satisfaction and contribution to the volunteer drivers, as well.
“You feel like you’re actually helping someone and that’s a really good return for a couple of hours of what you do,” Jan said, adding that drivers often form solid relationships with their passengers. “It’s really helping the Cambridge community.”
For more information on becoming a Cambridge Red Cross Community Transport driver, please phone Jan Nesbit on 07 823 7645 or 021 0821 2739.