Drivers needed to get patients to appointments

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People in Scarborough are being urged to sign up for Yorkshire Ambulance Services’ (YAS) Volunteer Car Service, which helps patients to reach their vital hospital appointments.

More than 80 drivers currently donate their time to the scheme, covering over 20,000 journeys each month, but there is no minimum time requirement to get involved.

Jo Halliwell, associate director of the Patient Transport Service at YAS said: “Our Volunteer Car Service drivers offer a valuable service to the trust, supporting the wider work of our non-emergency Patient Transport Service and helping eligible patients to get to and from essential medical appointments.”

Driver must be 18 or over, have a four-door car and pass a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

Full training is provided and volunteers are reimbursed for the cost of miles covered under the scheme.

Volunteers have the chance to follow in the footsteps of Scarborough father-of-five Mark Wright, who became a driver in the area in 2001 alongside running his own taxi business.

Three years later, after enjoying his work, Mark began training as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) as part of the emergency service, which he then followed up with additional training that saw him qualify as a paramedic in 2010.

He has been saving lives for the service ever since.

He said: “I didn’t volunteer so that I could have a career with YAS, I did it because it sounded like a good idea at the time and I enjoyed the variety, the travelling and meeting people. 
“I remember a friend saying to me at the time, ‘volunteering? Where’s that going to lead you?’ and I think it’s safe to say even I didn’t appreciate just how far it would take me in the long run.”

As well as being a full-time paramedic, Mark still finds time to volunteer as a Community First Responder (CFR), also for YAS. He’s set up two CFR schemes in Hutton Buscel and Snainton, both of which he co-ordinates.

His son Matthew, 20, also joined the service as an apprentice last year.

For more information visit www.yas.nhs.uk/Volunteering or contact 01924 584019.