Driving support in Townsville

Mater hospital volunteers Tom Archer and Terry Jones enjoy giving back

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DOUBLE ACT: Tom Archer and Terry Jones. Photo supplied.

DOUBLE ACT: Tom Archer and Terry Jones. Photo supplied.

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Tom and Terry enjoy volunteering to operate a transport service for rehabilitation patients.

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Double act Tom Archer and Terry Jones are providing a lifeline to Townsville rehabilitation patients, one kilometre at a time.

The pair have spent a combined total of seven years as volunteers at Mater Private Hospital Townsville, transporting rehabilitation patients, in the courtesy bus to their much-needed appointments.

"I'm always the driver, and that's because I'm terrible at directions," laughed Mr Archer, 65.

"Terry takes over the navigating and that's fine by me.

"We make a great team - we never argue and we both love making a difference to people's lives."

Mr Archer and Mr Jones said they enjoyed "being on the road" operating the Courtesy Transport Service.

With National Volunteers Week (16-22 May), the pair wanted to share their stories to encourage more people to consider volunteering in their communities.

Mr Archer said it was a great way to enjoy retirement.

"This is my way of giving back," he said. "These patients need to have rehabilitation so they can get better after surgery.

"Sometimes their families can't take them to an appointment, or they're just out of surgery and can't get behind the wheel themselves."

The pair transport patients from areas including Rowes Bay and Pallarenda, operating within a 15km radius of the hospital.

Mr Archer said he enjoyed having a 'chin-wag' with patients during the drive.

"This is something Tom and I get to do every week and it's very rewarding," Mr Archer said.

Mater Private Hospital Volunteer Coordinator David De Witt said volunteers gave about 1000 hours each month to the Pimlico and Hyde Park campuses.

"Our volunteers work very hard, and we like to acknowledge and recognise their achievements," he said.

"From those who meet and greet patients at the front door, to others who assist in the cafe, every volunteer makes a difference at Mater."

He said the hospital identified eligible patients to use the courtesy bus.

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