Volunteer driver call for charity’s new minibus

Irwin THE new transport co-ordinator at a North East charity is urging volunteer drivers to come forward to make a difference to patient’s lives and those of their families.


Generous supporters of St Benedict’s Hospice, in Ryhope, Sunderland, helped raise more than £45,000 for a new minibus late last year as the charity celebrated its 30th anniversary.


Now St Benedict’s has appointed Irwin Smart, 56, of Sunderland, as the transport co-ordinator – but he needs a team of volunteer drivers to ensure the minibus is put to full use.


Irwin said: “The minibus provides patients and their families with the flexibility of transport. Some days patients come in for treatment and they get to the point where they’ve had enough but they don’t have the transport to go home until later, so our minibus can help.


“We can also use it on day trips for patients and their families but we need the volunteers to be able to make the best use of it.”


Catrina Flynn, fundraising manager at the hospice, added: “We can’t offer people the flexibility of the transport if we don’t get the volunteers we need.


“Some of the patients can really struggle to get here, especially if they live in a rural area, and taxis are expensive. Our service is free for them and their families.”



Volunteers need to be between 25 and 70 years of age and need Category D1 on their driver’s licence which allows them to drive a minibus. Anyone who can volunteer is asked to contact Irwin on 0191 512 8436.

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