Above: Link drivers and coordinators enjoying a Christmas lunch.
The Link, as it is generally known, is run by volunteers for the benefit of the people of Henfield, Partridge Green and the surrounding areas. We have the support of the Henfield Medical Centre, but our coordinators are operating on the telephone from their own homes. Clearly they are not always there to take your calls – they may be out for the day, or even on holiday, so try again later or call another coordinator (details below).
The best time of day to telephone is during normal office hours – Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm – but our volunteer coordinators will always do their best to meet emergency requests outside of those times. The Link service covers the Medical Centre and Woodlawn Surgery, hospitals, clinics and dentists for all residents of Henfield, Partridge Green, Shermanbury, Woodmancote and the surrounding areas of Cowfold, Wineham, Twineham. Small Dole, Fulking and Edburton. It is available to all patients, whether within or outside NHS treatment.
Drivers are reimbursed for their petrol costs ( not their time ) and to meet these, patients are normally expected to make a donation, currently £15 for hospitals in Worthing, Haywards Heath and Brighton, £3 for Henfield Medical Centre and Henfield dentists, and appropriate amounts for other locations and longer journeys.
The current coordinators are:-
- Penny Ann 01273 494109
- Mary Holder 01273 492351
- Jackie Clark 01273 047248
- Diana Halsey 01273 757834
Please give as much notice as possible of your transport requirements. However we do recognise that sometimes a hospital appointment is given at short notice, and we will always try to accommodate late requests. Do please tell the coordinator if you would like to bring a companion or if you need to bring a walking frame with you (some of our cars are on the small side). If you need a wheelchair, we do have one available or the driver can obtain one for you at the hospital. If you have a blue badge, please bring it with you, as it can simplify parking enormously (especially in Brighton). Even if you have given up driving it is worth retaining your blue badge.
Have you thought of driving for the Link ? You meet some interesting people, and provide a very valuable service. If you drive a car, have some time to spare and could take on an occasional trip, please let us know. It is not a regular commitment - when the coordinator rings, you are either able to meet the need or not - if the latter, the coordinator will try someone else on the list. If you prefer only to take on local trips, that will help but taking on some hospital journeys will help even more. With over 850 patient journeys facilitated in the last 12 months, the need for more volunteer drivers is great.
If you are interested in joining our band of volunteer drivers, please telephone either Peter Bates on 01273 493172 or the Link chairman John Langhorne of 01273 492591- both will be delighted to hear from you, and provide further details - alternatively send an email to email@example.com