Go North Devon operate the Cancer Care Car Service in some of the most deprived areas of rural North Devon. We support cancer patients who need to get to hospital for treatment and who are without independent means of travel, unable to use public transport or have no family or friends to help them.
We have a dedicated team of drivers and co-ordinators who are still working hard throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to get patients to their essential appointments. John and Norman our two drivers have been working hard and we are all committed to keeping the service running. We face daily challenges with the changing Government and NHS guidelines, and we have had to adapt this service during the crisis which is often described as a "safety net" by people who would otherwise struggle to get to their cancer related appointments leaving them disadvantaged physically, emotionally and financially.
Our passengers are extremely vulnerable from Covid-19 and we have introduced new measures to protect them on their journey by only taking one passenger at a time and maintaining a comprehensive cleaning regime after each journey.
John, (left) and Norman, (right) – our dedicated Cancer Care Car Drivers
Who do we Help?
We provide this vital car service in towns and villages that are amongst the 10% most deprived neighbourhoods in the country. The majority of people we support live alone without family or friends close by to assist them. Many of the rural areas in Northern Devon have poor public transport (if any) and many people don't have their own car and therefore struggle to get to vital health appointments and thus suffer health inequality as they struggle to access services when they need them most.
Here’s what some of our clients have to say about our service:
Patricia – South Molton
Patricia from South Molton said her “prayers had been answered” when she found our advert for the Cancer Care Car service at her Doctors’ Surgery. Patricia moved to be closer to her daughter in South Molton after her husband passed away. She had been in North Devon for several years when she was diagnosed with cancer for the third time after making a full recovery some years earlier.
Patricia was referred to North Devon District Hospital for treatment. She was extremely anxious about how she was going to get to her appointments, she said “I don’t drive and my daughter is a full time carer for her son, I didn’t know how I was going to get to my appointments at the hospital, and I was worried sick. There was no way I could afford the taxi fare and I had nobody to take me. I just didn’t know what I was going to do. Then one day I walked into my Doctors’ Surgery and saw an advert for the Cancer Care Car Service. At that moment it was like my prayers had been answered! The Drivers are so friendly and supportive and they go out of their way to help you. I can honestly say I just don’t know what I would do without this service.”
Jennifer – Northam
Jennifer from Northam described our service as “an absolute Godsend” when she was given our number by a Nurse at North Devon District Hospital. Jennifer moved to Westward Ho! in 2013 to care for her elderly mum. She remained in the area after her mum passed away and went on to settle in Northam.
In 2017 Jennifer was diagnosed with bowel cancer. She was referred to North Devon District Hospital for treatment. Jennifer was deeply concerned about how she was going to get to the hospital every week, she said “I had no transport and no way of getting to my appointments, the Nurse in the Seamoor Unit gave me the contact details for the Cancer Care Car Service which was an absolute godsend!” I have been using the service ever since and the work they do is priceless. John and Norman don’t just drive, they are actually there for you. They take time to listen to you and build you up when you’re having a down day. They go above and beyond of what you would expect from a driver. It is an amazing service; I don’t know what I would do without it!”
Louise - Bideford
Louise from Bideford has recently started using our service to to attend her chemotherapy appointments at North Devon District hospital. We asked her what the Cancer Care Car Service means to her and she said" I'm really grateful for the car service. People don't realise how anxious and worried you are when you're diagnosed with cancer and it's the little things that really matter. Getting transport to your appointments for treatment and medication is essential because it's what's keeping you alive and I am so grateful for this. The Drivers are so supportive and it's comforting and reassuring to know that the Cancer Care Car is there to get you to your appointments and on time."
Every donation made will have a positive impact on the lives of so many cancer patients who struggle to get to the hospital for chemotherapy and essential oncology appointments.