Roy in drive for Hospice

Volunteer drivers Brian Shaw and Roy Sadler.
Volunteer drivers Brian Shaw and Roy Sadler.

A retired lorry driver put his motoring skills to good use when he decided to volunteer for St John’s Hospice.

Roy Sadler was forced to take early retirement seven years ago after undergoing a hip operation.

“I was told I couldn’t carry on with my normal job as a long distance HGV driver,” Roy said.

“My wife had seen an advert asking for part-time drivers for patient transport and so I rang them up and it turned out to be for the hospice.

“I went for an interview and ended up getting the job, and I’ve been doing it for five or six years now.”

Roy, now 71, collects hospice patients from their homes and drops them off at the day care centre at the hospice, before picking them up to take them home again in the afternoon. Although his work mostly involves people from around the Lancaster and Morecambe area, he occasionally transports patients from further afield such as Kendal or Garstang.

And Roy, who lives in Heysham with his wife Sue, has got to know many of his clients over the years.

“It can be heartbreaking at times because you pick people up every week for quite a while and you get to know them,” he said. “They will often tell you things that they don’t tell the nurses or their family.

“They become friends really rather than patients 
and when you hear that someone has passed away 
it can be quite upsetting, 
but I guess it’s all part of the job.

“At first some of them don’t want to go to the hospice; they go for 16 weeks at a time but by the end of it they don’t want to stop going.

“Some of them don’t see anybody from when you drop them off at home to when you pick them up again the next time; it’s very sad for some of them.”

Roy has even managed to involve his brother-in-law Brian Shaw in his job.

“Brian also took early retirement and so I suggested he did it as well,” Roy said.