Making a Difference – written by one of our volunteer drivers (joined 2011)
When I retired I wanted to do some voluntary work. Volunteer driving gives me the flexibility I wanted, by not committing me to a regular day or time each week. Although, I am prepared to do local runs, I particularly enjoy taking clients farther afield, often to the hospitals in Oxford.
My family would say I like to talk, but as a driver I have now learned the joy of listening. The many clients have led such varied lives with such different experiences; I enjoy listening to stories and consider it a great privilege to share their memories.
I have heard so much about different parts of this country and abroad and have enjoyed funny, sad and surprising childhood memories and experiences.
I am very aware that I may be the only person my client talks to that day, so I hope to relieve a little loneliness or give some reassurance as we chat.
It has made me appreciate more sincerely the good health I have experienced so far in life. I have seen how illness can have life changing effects, often with a tinge of sadness when thinking of what life may have been like.
However, I have certainly been humbled by some clients who manage to live with their problems with dignity whilst maintaining a positive outlook and still able count their blessings.
Unfortunately, although we all want to be well cared for when we need help, it is often easy for us to feel too busy and unable to offer help needed by members of our community now.
I hope that my volunteer driving helps clients who need help now and with luck, there will be a volunteer driver available when I need a lift. Perhaps they may enjoy my stories about being a volunteer driver!