By Steve Carle
Neil Greenwood is Pahiatua's St John Health Shuttle team leader with a resource of 16 volunteers, including himself.
Neil does all the driving, one or two days a week, plus extra hours behind the scenes - he can do 15 hours per week just for the Shuttle Service. One day a month he volunteers for the community car driving.
"I enjoy being a volunteer because you get to meet a lot of people from all walks of life," he says. "St John is a great service, I recommend it to anyone who wants to be an assistant.
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"It's rewarding helping people, a lot of them can't get to medical appointments. If we didn't have this service, the attendance rate at these medical appointments would be low. Probably 75 per cent more appointments are being attended due to the service.
"St John is a big organisation for volunteers, with 8000 volunteers, 80 vehicles in 45 locations - two in Pahiatua and four in Dannevirke. We have to fundraise for our own vehicles.
"We are due for replacement of our small Health Shuttle, which will cost around $60,000 we will need to fundraise for it.
"We've taken over Red Cross and all their vehicles from the end of last year and they have had a lot of volunteers.
"With me volunteering for St John, it's my way of giving back to the service for all the times that I've had to use the service myself. It's a good way to meet a lot of lovely people.
"I have been with the service for four and a half years, three as team leader."
If anyone is interested, call Debbie, who takes the bookings, on 0800 589 630 ext. 2.