Mick Taylor has been a volunteer driver since he retired over 4 years ago. He drives patients to and from Coventry Day Hospice on Fridays if they are unable to make their own way to the hospice. He tells us a bit about what his role is like:
Why did you become a volunteer driver?
I decided to volunteer for Myton as I had a personal connection – my mum was looked after by Myton and it’s a way of saying thank you. My dad also did a lot of fundraising for the organisation. Driving appealed to me, as you get to build up a close relationship with the people you are driving – you can drive the same person for up to three months, and because you see the same person, you can build up a nice relationship with them. There is one patient who I drive who is 93, and he is absolutely full of energy. He was in the war at the same time and place as my father, although they didn’t know each other. I have learnt more about the war over the last 12 weeks through the stories he tells me than I did from my father.
What does the role entail?
Picking up a patient in the morning and bringing them to the day hospice, and then picking them up in the afternoon and taking them home – that’s all it is. A lot of the role is just about listening to patients and hearing the most wonderful stories. The patients are buzzing about coming into the Day Hospice – they look forward to their day here and always say what a great day they have had. It is nice to be surrounded by such positive people. Patients always say what a wonderful time they have had which, in addition to the support from the medical staff, can include things from physiotherapy to hairdressing. It is an incredible place!
What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer driver?
Listening to the wonderful tales that people have to tell. These might be personal stories, or interesting stories about Coventry. One patient told me about her dad delivering coal by horse and cart in Earlsdon, and the house and yard are still there. It’s a great picture of Coventry from the year!
What do you feel you get from volunteering at Myton?
It is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I should have made the time to do it sooner. Volunteering has definitely helped me to improve my life skills.
What would you say to someone who is considering becoming a volunteer driver for Myton?
If you want to do something fulfilling, I couldn’t think of anything better to do. The staff and volunteers are very special. Everyone has a smile and is so welcoming. It can be humbling, seeing people who are ill who just get on with life… it puts other things into perspective.
My fear when I started was saying the wrong thing to someone who was ill, but it turns out, I don’t need to say a lot, as they tend to do most of the talking.
Some of my colleagues have been volunteering for years and do it daily, which is just indicative of how much they enjoy it. It’s incredibly rewarding, and I feel privileged to volunteer here – I really look forward to my volunteering.
If Mick’s experience has inspired you, you can apply to be a volunteer driver below:
You can find our other volunteering roles and vacancies below: