A dedicated volunteer who has supported Macmillan Cancer Support and the NHS for the past 25 years, can’t wait to get back behind the wheel after lockdown.
Betty Moncrieff, 76, has spent over two decades driving patients to appointments at Perth’s Cornhill Macmillan Centre and serving cakes at the Macmillan Coffee Shop at Quarrymill Woodland Park.
As the country marks National Volunteers Week 2020 (June 1-7), Betty wants to encourage others to think about volunteering too.
Speaking to the Tele, she said: “I have been driving patients to the hospital and back again for the past 25 years.
“When I retired I knew I wanted to do something, so I contacted the NHS and asked if I could get involved in driving – it was as easy as that.
“It is interesting, I have met some really nice people and I get to hear all about the lives they have lived.
“I am the lucky one because I am just dropping them off – you always hope it goes okay for the person you are driving.”
Betty told the Tele it was not “all doom and gloom” and described the palliative care hospital as “a cheery place with a nice atmosphere”.
She added: “When I take the patients home they say they have so enjoyed themselves because it makes them feel they are not alone.
“It is something I really enjoy but at the moment there is no driving because of lockdown.
“I hope it will start up again soon.”
In addition, Betty spends the summer months volunteering at the popular Macmillan Coffee Shop.
She said: “The café is closed at the moment as well, but in the summer I work there with a regular group of volunteers.
“It is a shame it is not open at the moment, because it is a big part of our lives.
“I have made as many friends through volunteering as I did when I was working.”
Betty added: “There are some people who say they are dreading retirement, but they could do some volunteering.
“There are plenty of opportunities for volunteering and you can always try something and if you don’t like it, you can just try something different.”
She continued: “You feel very committed once you start.
“If all the volunteers just stopped, the whole country would stop because there are thousands of us scurrying about doing a bit here and a bit there.”