ANTHONY GOWING, BCAh
Tony, of North Walsham, has been a volunteer with the patient transport service in Norfolk for the past 16 years. The service, which was provided by ERS Medical in partnership with Voluntary Norfolk, and is now known as Car Link, provides transport to hospital appointments for people who would otherwise struggle to get there.
Father-of-three Tony, who juggles his voluntary driving with his parcel courier job and family commitments, was left seriously injured and deeply traumatised after being attacked and sexually assaulted fifteen years ago. He relied heavily upon not only the health service, but also the vital patient transportation service which got him to and from his numerous medical and counselling appointments during his recovery over the following three years. Tony now makes himself available as a volunteer at least six days every week – despite the usual voluntary commitment to the service being just once a week.
He drives more than 285 people to their appointments every month, providing not just transport, but reassurance and support at what is often a stressful time. Tony’s understanding of the anxiety that hospital visits can cause some patients, enables him to be empathetic and caring. He always makes sure that the medical staff are aware of any anxieties patients may have and he ensures that the patient is as informed as they can be. For his 285 passengers per month, Tony’s service is undoubtedly contributing to their healthcare and well -being.
Following the attack, it took Tony years to get back on the road to recovery, his volunteer work is his way of saying thank you and giving something back.
Nominated by Julia Alderson