Our volunteer drivers provide a real lifeline to patients requiring to attend hospital for treatment or appointments.
Kenny Gilmour is just one of the 35 volunteers who give their time to help others. Here he shares with us how he got involved and what he enjoys about volunteering.
“I’ve been driving as a hospice volunteer for 17 years. I’m sure I’m no different to most, if not all people in Inverclyde, in as much as having had close family members who have received treatment.
Over 20 years ago, my dad had to travel up and down to hospital in Glasgow. At that time, my parents had no access to a car and he used the hospital transport service. As good as it was, it took hours for him to make the journey as he stopped off on the way to do other pick ups. I saw just how tired he was and struggling to recover.
After a few weeks, thankfully he was able to use the hospice private car transport and I quickly saw the difference it made to him – he had more time at home to rest. That’s why, when I stopped working, I asked how I could do the same for others. I saw the difference it made to my dad and know that others really do appreciate the extra help at what is a challenging time.
For me, it’s really important that I can help other families as there is still lots of people without access to a car. Some people are frightened and can be quite emotional. Sometimes they want to chat and others they prefer to stay quite and that’s just fine. I’m good at keeping people calm and respecting their privacy.
I would urge others to give up a few hours each week to volunteer, whether it is driving patients to and from hospital, or in any other part of the hospice. It’s just your time you’re giving up and I’m sure we’ve all had friends, family or work colleagues who have been supported. It’s just good to help others.”