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Forty years ago, Ardgowan Hospice introduced itself to Inverclyde via the Patient Transport Service. Our first and now longest running service.


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In 1981, not only was Ardgowan Hospice incorporated, but our Patient Transport Service launched. Even before we found our home at 12 Nelson Street, volunteer drivers were hard at work transporting seriously ill people in Inverclyde to and from hospital appointments in the Glasgow area; and for over forty years they have kept up their selfless work.

A donation today can help keep this vital service on the road.

“’if I had to do it myself by public transport, I would not and could not do it, it’s too tiring…’ I think it is really quite frightening to hear them say that.” – Kenny Gilmour, volunteer driver


“I cannot begin to imagine how difficult those weeks would have been without them.” –
Myra Potter, service user


Our services are free at point of access for patients in Inverclyde.


Your support helps keeps the Patient Transport Service’s wheels turning.


Without the service, it’s possible some patients would not even be offered the vital, often life-saving, treatments available to them at hospitals in the Glasgow area.
We would not be able to provide services like this without essential donations like yours.


With the costs of almost everything set to rise over the coming months and years, we rely heavily on your generosity to keep our services running.


Myra's Story

“When I became ill, getting in touch with Ardgowan Hospice was a simple decision for me and I knew I would be in safe hands – after all, the Patient Transport Service was the first department I volunteered with at the hospice.

Now, years later, I would be the one using the service.

For three weeks, the hospice’s team of volunteer drivers ensured I made the 50-mile round trip from my home in Gourock to The Beatson in Glasgow each day with as little additional stress as possible, and at no cost to me or my family.

I would be informed when the driver would arrive (and they were always early or exactly on time!) and we would begin our journey, chatting away throughout. This made the journey pass by quickly which was lovely given the scenario.

They would take me to my entrance and let me know where they would be waiting after my appointment. Sometimes you would get a different driver on the way back, but no matter who, they were very friendly and made a stressful situation as easy as it could be in the circumstances.

I cannot begin to imagine how difficult those weeks would have been without them.

If I had to rely on public transport I would have had to get a train or bus into Glasgow then a taxi out to The Beatson. I’m not conversant with Glasgow’s public transport system and navigating that after an appointment would not have an easy or comfortable experience.  Not to mention that appointments could be first thing in the morning through to later in the afternoon so it would have been impossible to develop a routine.

From start to finish, from initial contact through to being talked through the system and using the service itself, it was as easy as that situation could ever been.

I can’t say enough good words about the Patient Transport Service.

A kind donation today could help Ardgowan Hospice care for people like me tomorrow. You could help fund their transport service, or their specialist childhood bereavement services or the vital, compassionate care in the hospice’s In-Patient Unit.

Will you be an Ardgowan Hospice Hero?

Yours sincerely,

Myra Potter”

Kenny's Story

My name is Kenny Gilmour and I’m a volunteer driver with Ardgowan Hospice’s Patient Transport Service.

After I retired, I learned the hospice operated a free transport service for patients. I thought that would be a tremendous use of time and signed straight up; and for over two decades I have driven seriously ill people to and from hospitals in the Glasgow area (even Edinburgh on occasion) two to three times a week.

It’s a well-oiled machine. Ardgowan Hospice’s Transport Coordinator contacts us in advance with details, we then turn up at the allocated patients house, welcome them into the car – and we’re off!

Prior to Covid we could have up to three patients in one car and you never knew just what to expect.

Some patients could have an appointment almost every day for upwards of 20 days, so it was not unusual for friendships and bonds to form and for the journeys to turn quite raucous! Similarly, the trip could be completed in a peaceful silence, with patients providing quiet support for one another, understanding each other’s journey.

After their appointment, we meet the patient and take them safely back home. The whole journey is completed without needing to worry about the stresses and expense of public transport, driving themselves or getting friends and family to take time off work.

This is why having a patient transport service is so important to our passengers. I’ve talked with almost 3,000 patients over the years, and many have told me:

“if I had to do it myself by public transport, I would not and could not do it, it’s too tiring.” I think it is really quite frightening to hear them say that.

I take the view, and I think all the volunteer drivers agree, that it’s an essential service. It’s not just an add on. It has to be there; otherwise an awful amount of people would suffer. It’s a massive help to a lot of people.

Please consider donating today and help us help your community.

Yours sincerely,