Volunteer drivers needed to take renal patients to Fife hospital

Rewarding role, and a chance to help

By Darren Gibb
Monday, 17th August 2020, 3:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 9:48 am
St John volunteers Lawson Rennie, Findlay Macrae and Ewen MacDonald.
St John volunteers Lawson Rennie, Findlay Macrae and Ewen MacDonald.

St John Scotland is appealing for people in the Kirkcaldy area to step up and volunteer to drive patients to and from the renal unit at Victoria Hospital.

The service, which started in 2017, wants more people to come on board.

Duties include helping to get patients to hospital for dialysis treatment, collecting them from their homes, and then taking them back again.

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St John volunteer driver Allan Robinson.

Volunteers do not need to use their own car, and are not required to help patients in and out of the vehicle.

Full training and a uniform is offered, and all volunteers will be put through a PVG check.

Findlay Macrae, co-ordinator and a board member with St John’s Fife, organises the work schedule for the transport service and ensures it all runs smoothly.

He said: “We are currently looking for people to volunteer. Drivers are able to pick their shifts, so whether they prefer to work in the morning, afternoon or evening is completely up to them.

"I have been volunteering with St John Scotland for over 25 years now. It is very fulfilling and it is the same for everyone else who volunteers."

Allan Robinson is a volunteer driver who transports patients needing dialysis to and from Queen Margaret Hospital every Thursday.

He said: “I started driving several years ago after retiring from saturation diving. Divers have medical training, which although not necessary, gives me an idea of the challenges faced by my passengers.

"I work the Thursday shift, and my normal route is collecting patients from south and west Fife, although I sometimes pick up other shifts if needed.

"Where previously I could collect four passengers at a time, the current Covid restrictions mean a maximum of two passengers and multiple runs – so by the time my first runs are over, I have enough time for a few hours break before heading out at for my second lot of pickups and return my earlier passenger back home.

"I tend to drive the same people each week – it’s interesting getting to know them all.

"I feel as though I am doing something useful and I quite enjoy it.”

If you are interested in volunteering, contact: [email protected] or call 0131 556 8711.

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