Ian Boden has been a volunteer driver for 6 years. He got involved after the Hospice cared for his father-in-law and his mother-in-law and he saw a piece in Care News asking for drivers.
“ I had retired early and was getting under my wife’s feet, so when Pat showed me the Care News it seemed like a good thing to do. I undertook the Hospice’s volunteer training course and was pleasantly surprised about how good it was! I don’t know what I expected, but as they are a small local charity I didn’t expect it to be so comprehensive, and so focussed on looking after you as a volunteer as well as looking after the patient.
I feel so fortunate to have met the people I have whilst driving. I never ceased to be inspired by their attitude, their outlook on the life they have left and how grateful they are for our service. Of course, there are those patients that stay with you. One lady in particular really reminded me of my mum, and so it is hard when she died, but I know I’m doing something worthwhile.
It’s so much more than just a lift in a car. Most regulars want to tell you their story and you learn the importance of listening. I’m driving a gentleman at the moment who lives alone and isn’t mobile. He lives in the most beautiful countryside location but he is trapped within his house apart from the time that I pick him up, drive him once a week to our Day Service where he can have company, a chat and see our nurses. Isabel Hospice really is a lifeline for him. I give him a lift and it lifts my spirits to know how much I am helping. I can honestly say, I get much more out of volunteering as a driver than I feel I give and would recommend anyone does it. It puts life into perspective and it’s so rewarding. Looking on the lighter side, it’s got me out of lots of shopping trips and DIY! “I can’t possibly do shopping with you darling, the Hospice needs me to drive!”