Through the Window Epsom | Alan’s Story.
In this episode of Through the Window, we meet Alan. Volunteering for various charities throughout his life, Alan took up the opportunity to become a transport driver and has now been a volunteer with Age Concern Epsom & Ewell for over 8 years.
“The standard joke is, ‘Oh it’s a lovely day, let’s forget the hospital appointment and go to Brighton instead!’. It gets a laugh. But you know really it means more to them than just going to see the doctor.”
Alan provides hospital transport and takes people to their medical appointments. He also helps out on the transport phone line a morning a week taking calls from clients and booking their transport. Alan became a volunteer soon after he retired from teaching and now volunteers around 5 days a week. He is also involved with the induction of new drivers.
“I have absolutely loved it!”
However, the restrictions have meant that Alan can no longer do this. Now he has taken on a new role of collecting and delivering prescriptions to housebound, shielding and self-isolating clients during the lockdown. He also delivers foodbank boxes to people, including local families.
“Undoubtedly the best bit of volunteering is knowing that you are making a difference in people’s lives and particularly helping at this difficult time.”
Alan has met and come to hear many extraordinary life stories in his time as a volunteer. He tells us about a gentleman who was an outside broadcast producer with the BBC who used to do many of the Royal occasions and in his eighties still played table tennis several times a week.
He also recalls two remarkable women one a lady in her 90s whose wartime service was with the SOE and who was parachuted as an agent into Italy and another who represented GB in the 1948 London Olympic Games as a member of the hurdles team.
“The other big benefit is getting to meet some amazing people and having the privilege of hearing their backstories. Many of the old folk in the world are amazing and I’m so lucky to get to know them and become friends with some of them.”
Do you enjoy driving or perhaps you are in retirement and need help getting to your next appointment?
If you would like to make a difference and give something back to the community head to Age Concern Epsom and Ewell’s volunteer page. You can also click here to find out more about Age Concern Epsom and Ewell’s medical transport.
Age UK also runs door to door transport services for older people in some parts of the country, click to see if your local Age UK offers transport service or find out how you can get involved here.
Through the Window.
Through the Window is a project created during the Covid-19 lockdown that showcases local heroes in our communities.
Through this series of ‘socially distanced’ interviews – filmed literally through the window – Guild Living captures the extraordinary stories of real people who are doing amazing things during the pandemic and who may be otherwise have been overlooked.