Bo’ness charity offers free hospital transport for cancer treatment appointments

A Forth Valley charity set up to provide free hospital transport services for cancer patients is looking for volunteers.

Bo’ness Car 4U hopes to launch its services in 2022.

People with a cancer diagnosis will be able to book transport through the town’s medical practices to take some of the strain out of attending appointments for treatment.

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The charity is looking to recruit volunteer drivers using their own cars - expenses will be paid - co-ordinators to help manage bookings and undertake office/administration duties, and fundraisers to help cover running costs.

Rod McNeill, Bo'ness Car 4U

Rod McNeill, who chairs the charity, said: ““Getting to and from hospital for cancer treatment appointments can be difficult.

“Public transport can be infrequent and expensive, while driving involves the stress of traffic and hospital parking.

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“We’re aiming to remove these worries by doing the driving – making the trip to hospital as pleasant and stress-free as possible.”

To help launch the service next year, the charity is looking for willing helpers.

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Mr McNeill said: “Becoming a driver for Bo’ness Car 4U is easy.

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“You can give as much time as you wish, using your own car to transport service users.

"For instance, some drivers will only work mornings, some only afternoons – and some might only do local journeys. It’s really up to you.

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“While being a driver for us is voluntary, you will be paid a running allowance of 40p per mile. You will also be given training, as well as a full set of guidelines for how the service works.

"We’ll show you the ropes before you drive for us.”

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Patients will be temperature checked before trips and asked to sit in rear seats, wearing face masks.

Said Mr McNeill: “The pandemic has wrought havoc on society and although restrictions are being relaxed, it is important to remember that the virus has not gone away. Safeguards are needed as we learn to live with Covid 19.”

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Volunteers will be able to choose the days they work and how often. Mileage expenses will be paid, and these won’t affect any benefits volunteers receive.