Great teamwork and hard work improves Northumbria Healthcare's buggy service

9th January 2023

Northumbria Healthcare Screenshot 2023 01 09 155457

Brian Barker, Ray Waller and Alan Miller (before he retired) have volunteered for many years at the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, offering a fantastic service and dedication to the Trust and the local people of Northumberland and North Tyneside. Brian and Alan worked closely together before Ray joined the service, the three of them clicked and work as a team, supporting and advising new volunteers.

Brian has a wealth of experience in fixing machines, so he has the task of looking after the buggies and carries out maintenance when required.

Ray an ex -head teacher shines through with advice and support for young volunteers sharing advice and wisdom.

Alan offered many years' of experience after leaving another Trust as head porter and continued to look after the volunteer rotas until he retired.

These three guys are committed to the service and Trust, often covering shifts at very short notice, they offer support to anyone wishing to use the buggy service, many of these people have a disability. The guys are so polite, friendly and nothing is a bother. They were trained by Lift Safe who supply the Trusts buggies as trainers so that they could train new volunteers. They were trained to a very high standard and wouldn’t approve any potential volunteers until they felt that person was safe to do so.

Two years ago, Brian lost his wife after a long illness, but he kindly carried on volunteering. He said, "It gives me purpose and gets me out of bed in the morning, without volunteering I would be lost." Brian is a very valued member of the team who is always willing to help anyone.

The three volunteers worked closely together and were always willing to help with the wider service. The volunteer team were asked for a buggy service at another hospital site, without hesitation both Brian and Ray said that they would help, they arranged for a buggy to be transported from one site to another, attended the site to look at the area, charging space and turning circle. Once this was carried out, they met with the fire officer who advised them on protocol and policy before they advised on space and areas.

The guys offered their time to travel to another site to meet with new volunteers, advise them on the service, how it would work, what to do if any came across any issues, advise on how to drive the buggy and turn in sometimes difficult areas. Without Brian and Ray this new service wouldn't have been possible, they are always willing to guide new volunteers, share their thoughts on how best to deliver this new service. Even though Brian and Ray worked closely with Alan they have come into their own, they are a fantastic team and two fantastic volunteers.

Nominated for the 2022 Team of the Year category

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