Our driver David says “When I was asked to write a few words explaining why I became a volunteer driver, I couldn’t think of any reason, except that I like volunteering, which is true! As always, I get a lot of satisfaction from it and it gets me out of the house (important when you are retired). But it’s not about me.
I have been surprised at the amount of money old folks have to pay in taxi fares to get to and from hospital – we can do it for a quarter of the price, if the driver is prepared to wait. I take the view that I might as well read the paper in my car, as I would only be doing the same thing at home in my armchair (you do have to run the engine periodically on a cold winter’s day). Hospital transport, when available, can involve waiting around for very extended periods.
People are always very grateful and often pay more than strictly necessary – I don’t dissuade them but always explain very carefully that any overpayment is an additional contribution to the charity. Careful record-keeping is required!
I prefer longer journeys as I feel more as though I have done a ‘proper job’. However, one of my regular clients only ever needs to visit a local vet with her cat, a round journey of 6 miles. She has spent over £100 (total) at the vet’s in the 4 or 5 times I have driven for her but the bonus is that I now have a very good knowledge of cat ailments. I can’t lay claim to being a good listener but I’m learning.
I would add that the office staff, are very efficient and kindly, despite some frustrations. Now, they are good listeners.”