We would like to introduce you to one of our valued volunteer minibus drivers, Les Mann.
Les is 65 and lives in Angmering. He has been volunteering for St Barnabas for over three years, since fully retiring from work.
Les is a retired Police Officer who went on to work night shifts at Horsham Hospital for thirteen years, driving doctors to home visits for the Out of Hours Service. As you can gather, Les is more than qualified to safely drive our much relied upon minibuses.
Les decided to start volunteering for St Barnabas because he wanted to do something worthwhile and rewarding after retiring.
Volunteering allows him the flexibility to fit in around his family life. He had heard of St Barnabas House and felt that it was fantastic organisation and a worthwhile cause to help support with his time.
Les volunteers on Tuesdays and Fridays, bringing our Day Hospice patients from their homes in the mornings, to arrive at 10am, and then returning at 3pm in the afternoon to drop them home.
Les arrives at the Hospice shortly after 9am. Along with a member of the nursing team they set off to bring our Day Hospice patients in who are unable to use a standard car.
Our minibuses can carry passengers who find it difficult to get into a standard car or those who are wheelchair bound.
Health Care Support Worker Lisa Ingall said: “The minibus service is a real lifeline for our patients, as for some their visit to the Day Hospice provides much needed social interaction and support.
“Without the minibuses and our drivers they simply wouldn’t be able to get here. We are really grateful to Les and our other volunteer drivers.”
Sometimes we call on our minibus drivers to help us with outings, enabling us to take as many patients out as possible to a wide variety of day trips. Les has enjoyed driving patients to see the bluebells at Wiston in Steyning, as well as coffee mornings at Haskins Garden Centre or Sea Lane Café in Goring.
In addition he has helped out with transporting equipment for our fundraising events, and will be volunteering to drive the minibus at our forthcoming midnight walk on June 21st 2014.
Our Day Hospice needs more volunteer minibus drivers… Could you join our volunteer team at St Barnabas House hospice?
Les said if you were thinking about volunteering, just give it a go and enjoy it, it is so rewarding. When asked what he most enjoyed about the role, he said: “The lovely people you get to meet, including the patients, staff and other volunteers, as well as the feeling you are really doing something helpful and worthwhile.”
If you have a few hours or more to spare each week and would like to help, please phone Voluntary Services on 01903 706314 and speak to a member of the team today.
Please note: You will need to have D1 on your licence to be able to drive our minibus. Basic training will also be given.
Report and picture contributed by St Barnabas House.