• Volunteer’s Week: Far Beyond The Call of Duty

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    Rob Kinning, Chief Executive at Daventry Area Community Transport recalls a story of a volunteer who went above and beyond to help his passengers.

    The story was originally told by Rob at the Queens Award for Voluntary Service Ceremony, Sept 2017, where DACT were recipients. 

    “I wish we had time to tell many of the stories related by our volunteers over the years – they could fill a book!!  Maybe that’s a project for someone with a bit of spare time on their hands!  However, let me tell you just a short story that will make you smile and indicate how versatile they are and prepared to adapt to any situation they face:

    One of our Volunteers had to take two sisters (both well into their 80’s) to an Opticians in Abington Street, Northampton. Both were suffering with the onset of dementia.  Their appointment was at 2.50 pm. On arrival it was discovered that one of the ladies was suffering from a severe haemorrhage behind the eye so the Opthomologist asked if our volunteer would take them for immediate emergency treatment at NGH. As the sisters were by now quite agitated and confused, our Volunteer had great difficulty in getting them back into his car.  When he got to NGH, he had even more difficulty getting them out of the car!!

    Now for the real challenge  –  When our volunteer managed to eventually get the ladies into the Department, they would not co-operate with the Consultant due to their confused state related to their early stages of dementia.  This scenario dragged out for some considerable time and could not proceed because one of the ladies would not put her head on the apparatus so that her eyes could be examined. Our Volunteer then had an inspired idea.  He told Matthew (The Consultant), why don’t  I put on a white coat and pretend to be the doctor as she knows me and might respond positively.  To cut a very long story short, it worked! Though after the appointment he had huge problems getting the ladies back into his car, and huge problems getting them back out again when he finally got home at 6.30 pm in the evening!  Matthew, the Consultant, said that our Volunteer was fantastic and ‘deserved a medal’ for his patience, care, and understanding.  Well I’m pleased to say that this Volunteer is with us today –  so please stand Clive Leakey, and take a bow, because this award we are receiving today is as much for you as it is for all our volunteers.  They all go far beyond the call of duty.

    To top it all, Clive had forgotten to display his DACT parking permit when he arrived at the Hospital due to the extreme circumstances and ended up picking up a Parking ticket for his troubles.  I am very pleased to report that following our appeal explaining all the circumstances, this was subsequently withdrawn!     You couldn’t make all this up could you?   Truth is stranger than fiction sometimes.”

    The local press in Daventry also covered two stories of the volunteers who spoke at the awards ceremony, which can be read here:



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