VOLUNTEER drivers are needed to help more cancer patients benefit from a vital support service in Isleworth.
About 50 people attend the Mulberry Centre every week, taking advantage of everything from information about the disease to massages and yoga classes.
But bosses at the charity, in the grounds of West Middlesex Hospital, fear many more could be missing out because they find it hard to access.
Sue Donnellan, Macmillan information officer at the centre, this week appealed for volunteers to help ferry cancer patients to and from the building, in Twickenham Road.
“We probably have about 20 clients at the moment who would really benefit from lifts, whether it’s because the chemotherapy is making them too exhausted to drive or take public transport or they simply can’t afford the cost,” she said.
“A lot of people who get cancer find themselves in drastically reduced circumstances financially, but often they could really benefit from coming here for a massage or simply to meet other people so they don’t become isolated.”
Stewart Thorne, who was diagnosed with cancer of the feet and legs two-and-a-half years ago, recently began attending yoga and tai chi classes at the centre.
However, the 40-year-old’s condition makes it painful for him to walk and even with a Taxicard the return journey from his home in Richmond costs him £5.
“After I’ve paid all my bills, I’m left with about £10 a day for food, travel and other expenses, so £5 for a taxi is a lot of money,” he said.
“It’s difficult for me to take the bus because I have to keep my feet raised to prevent them swelling up and then walk to and from the stop.
“I really enjoy coming here. It takes your mind off it all and gives you the chance to relax, meet people and try new things. Having a volunteer taxi service would make a big difference to me and many others.”
Potential volunteers must have their own vehicles. For more information, and to offer your services, call the Mulberry Centre on 020 8321 6300 or email email@example.com.