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Michael volunteered when the pandemic started

5th November 2020

Michael Garner 1

Submitted by Claire Finn, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Michael Garner works for a manufacturer and distributor of heating and plumbing equipment as an area sales manager. However, when he started out at 16 he joined the Army Catering Corps as a chef and had the pleasure of cooking for members of the Royal Family. He enjoys football, golf, walking and climbing the hills and mountains around England and Scotland. He is also the proud owner of a camper van.

Michael has been with us since April when the pandemic started. He was one of the first to contact us and say he wanted to help out as much as he could. Michael has said “Firstly I am supporting my local community in Seaton Sluice, shopping on a weekly basis for people who are unable to do so themselves. I also provide support to a local GP practice and finally I am helping to pack and deliver welfare boxes to all frontline personnel within the NHS as well as other out post environments that require aid during these hard times.

I have to date enjoyed all of the experiences that I have been fortunate to be involved with. I enjoy supporting and meeting people. I would suggest to anyone who wishes to get involved don’t wait, sign up right now and experience the feeling that comes with knowing you are helping to make a difference to people and their lives.”

He has been coming in to the trust two or three times a week, sometimes at short notice and has helped us with a variety of volunteer roles such as making up, driving and delivering welfare packs to staff across the region in his campervan. He has helped us on a sewing project in the community by picking up and delivering material to volunteer machinists and has also delivered items to local organisations such as Barbour

Along with these roles he has been working in our volunteer shop and is now driving patients and visitors on the buggy. He has also been carrying out shopping for service users and delivering prescriptions when needed. He has reached staff, patients and people in the community far and wide.