Roger Pratten, car scheme volunteer

Roger, 62, has been a volunteer driver for nearly 12 years with Northampton Volunteer Car Scheme. The Scheme which transports elderly or vulnerable people to their medical appointments, is supported by the hard work of volunteers, but Roger has proven dedicated above and beyond the call of duty.

Roger, a former lorry driver, became acquainted with the car scheme when he underwent a life-threatening kidney and heart transplant. During his recovery he used the service to attend follow up appointments.

As a result of the transplants he was unable to return to his job and decided to give something back to the scheme which helped him back onto the road to recovery.

He commits to driving four days a week and is the only driver to volunteer his services to patients needing to attend appointments further afield, including London and Birmingham – last year alone he drove patients to 622 appointments tallying over 8,500 miles! Without the scheme patients simply wouldn’t be able to attend their appointments and drivers are often referred to as ‘lifesavers’. Roger makes them feel like someone cares.

He acts as an invaluable source of reassurance for patients who are going through similar challenges to their health, something not many volunteers can provide. Even further, he acts as a friend and moral support for people who feel isolated or fearful by waiting with them.

His tireless effort and enthusiasm is an inspiration for new drivers as he teaches them the ropes. Roger takes his role to a new level and relays vital information he picks up about health services to office staff and highlights serious problems that a patient shares with him.

Roger said “I’m so proud that the car scheme has faith and trust in me to help the people of Northampton to get to their doctors and hospital appointments. I love what I do, it brightens up my day to be able to help.”