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Nelson Hospital Shuttle Buggy Service receives Award

20 June, 2018
Nelson Hospital Shuttle Buggy Service receives Minister of Health volunteer award

Recognising a problem and finding a solution has paid off for the Nelson Hospital Shuttle Buggy service.

The service was runner up in the Health Care Provider Service Team Volunteers category of the 2018 Minister of Health volunteer awards presented at the Grand Hall Parliament during National Volunteer Week.

The Nelson Hospital Shuttle Buggy service is the brainchild of Kathy Cuthbert who noticed the struggles of the unwell and elderly who had to navigate Nelson Hospital’s hillside carpark.

Kathy inspired like-minded people to raise funds to buy a golf buggy and put together a roster of willing volunteer drivers.

Since 2006 the Shuttle Buggy Service has been running eight hours a day, five days a week, in all weathers.

It’s racked up nearly 25,000 buggy hours and last year around 7,500 passengers travelled on the buggy.

Nelson Marlborough Health Chief Executive Peter Bramley says the Shuttle Buggy service is a wonderful example of a group of people recognising a problem, finding a solution and working to make their community a better place.

“The service are often the first people that our patients see on arrival at the hospital, and they play a vital role to help the journey begin well,” he says.
“The volunteer drivers are there rain or shine to offer a lift in the golf cart, point out available car parks,give directions and offer support.

“They are a great team, from the wife of a volunteer washing all the cold weather jackets, to the other drivers pitching in to find cover when a driver is sick, they are continuously working to ensure they deliver the best service.”
Minister of Health Volunteer Awards are an opportunity to recognise the thousands of unsung heroes who support New Zealand’s health and disability services.

Other volunteer roles at Nelson Marlborough Health include Welcomers and Wayfinders, Meals on Wheels drivers, patients and ward support, equipment return support, and library assistants.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can complete an expression of interest form on the website:
www.nmdhb.govt.nz/volunteers. Or email volunteerNMH@nmdhb.govt.nz or phone (03) 539 3799.

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