THE NORTH East’s oldest hospice has put a call out for volunteer drivers who can bring their patients in to day services and take them on a variety of trips.

St Benedict’s Hospice, in Ryhope, Sunderland, has run a transports service for three and a half years and employs a full time transport coordinator and a part time deputy with the rest of the transport team staffed by volunteers.

As well as needing volunteer drivers, the hospice is appealing for escort volunteers who would sit with patients as they came to and from the hospice for their treatment.

Matt Blackman, Transport Co-ordinator, said: “Some of the patients can be quite vulnerable and having a friendly face to ride with them as they come to the hospice can make all of the difference to their journey. Escorts on the bus are of real benefit to both the driver and the patients.”

Driver volunteers need to have a full, clean driving licence with Class D and be able to commit for at least one day per week. The escort volunteers don’t need to drive but need to be friendly and caring. Full training can be given for both roles.

All necessary training will be given. Any volunteers are asked to contact Matt Blackman on 0191 512 8400

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