20 March 2018

Volunteer extreme weather drivers aid Hospice at Home nurses

IMG_0098For the second time this winter, volunteer drivers have come to the aid of Hospice at Home nurses to help them reach patients in need during atrocious weather conditions - day or night.

Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s volunteer Extreme Weather Drivers’ team consists of members of the local community who offer their services and their 4x4 or snow-adapted vehicles to ensure Hospice at Home nurses can deliver vital care to patients in their own homes.

Hospice at Home nurses like Jenny Roberts and Rebekha Bell visit patients to administer essential medication and keep them comfortable, while also providing support and reassurance for family members.

Jenny told us: “We knew when we came into work on Friday morning that we would struggle to reach a particular patient who lives up a long, narrow lane on a hill, but it was vital for us to get there to give the medication needed.  So it was wonderful to be able to call on Jonathan and his 4x4 to get us there.  It was a great weight off our minds and I felt completely safe sitting in the back of his car being taken to where we needed to be.”

Rebekha added: “It’s not just us who are grateful to the drivers for what they do, the families we visit feel exactly the same way.  On Friday both the families that Jonathan took us to invited him in to wait in the warm while we cared for our patients. One of the patients was so pleased to see us and thanked Jonathan profusely for bringing ‘her girls’ to see her.”

Jonathan Tweed from Tring helped Rennie Grove nurses carry out several visits during the bad weather.  He said: “I know how vital it is for people to get the care they need and I’m just pleased that I am able to help. I don’t mind being called out and will do all I can to assist, day or night. I find it very rewarding to be able to help these families in our local community who are already facing difficult times and if by helping I can also relieve pressure on the NHS and emergency services, then that’s a bonus too.”

Clair Jones, also a Hospice at Home nurse for Rennie Grove said: “I want to express my sincere thanks to our wonderful 4x4 volunteer driver who collected me and my colleague from home and took us to Grove House in St Albans to collect a piece of equipment that we needed for a patient. During the day she took us to support a patient who very sadly was dying and helped us deliver a much needed specialist mattress for another very unwell patient.

“Our modest driver (who doesn’t wish to be named) was so patient, friendly and generous. Her car was well stocked with sweets for the nurses to keep us going and she had asked for some advice from a fireman friend of hers who suggested that she put items such as blankets and a shovel in the boot of her car just in case.

“By lunchtime the weather had really deteriorated and we had a difficult journey back home in the snow and ice. I really don’t know how we would have managed the day without our wonderful volunteer driver and we would very probably have got stuck in the snow.

“Our day ended with hugs all round and each of us feeling that we had made new friends. Rennie Grove is so fortunate to have volunteers who are happy to assist when the weather gets bad. So to our lovely volunteer drivers we all say thank you from all at Rennie Grove and from the families you have helped us care for too”.

To find out more about joining Rennie Grove’s team of volunteer Extreme Weather Drivers please call 01442 890222 or 01727 731000 or email volunteer@renniegrove.org.