Last Sunday we were delighted to welcome back three of our newest and youngest members, Lizzy Olisa, Jess Harridge and Katie Stacey to the Sunday runs, who all recently passed their Advanced Driving test, aged 21, 19 and 18 respectively.
I really enjoyed the course; I learnt lots of new ways to improve my driving, but also ways to enhance the skills I already had. The GAM observers ran each session in a way that felt like I was a friend or colleague, rather than an instructor.
It is wonderful to know that GAM exists. The volunteer Observers have enabled our daughter to develop her driving beyond the basic skills required to pass her driving test. Thank you GAM – I can now relax in the passenger seat when she is driving as aged 19 she is a mature, aware and conscientious driver.
SERV S&SL are looking to recruit local car drivers for our fixed supply run each evening for our fellow SERV regions, Kent and Sussex. This is so that SERV SSL can release other resources to continue the reliable and regular service to our own hospitals. This is an ideal opportunity for those who may have considered joining us in the past but who could not commit to being on duty all through the night. The nightly exchange run will entail the following:
Collection of products from NHS Blood & Transplant, Tooting – this may be multiple boxes of blood, platelets and plasma.
Exchange at our handover point with representatives from Kent and/or Sussex.
Possible exchange of Medical Samples to return to NHS Blood & Transplant, Tooting (if no return run then you will head home from the handover point).
Once trained, you will be assigned (with your agreement) one night a fortnight to cover this duty (more if you wish). There is an expectation of commitment and, if you cannot make your rostered duty for any reason, as much advance notice as possible is required, together with effort to swap the shift with another volunteer.
On your duty night you will call in and be assigned tasks for the night by the duty controller. Some nights, we may not have received any requests from Kent or Sussex and you may be stood down. Other nights, you’ll take products to our handover point and then take samples back to Tooting. That’s the luck of the draw!
Please note that no expenses are paid; like the rest of our volunteers, you donate your time and fuel to a good cause and the get the pleasure of knowing that you probably saved a life or two tonight.
The handover point is a comfortable 30 minute drive from Tooting using our tested route, so your duty should not take longer than 2 hours, including travelling time to and from home, on the worst night.
If you are still interested in joining us as a committed and dedicated car driving blood runner, or you have any further questions, please get in touch with our Recruitment Secretary on 07432 221981 or firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s time to get your car hale, hearty and ‘beach body ready’ in preparation for the spring. This week’s tips give advice on getting your car ready for the warmer weather, from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards Richard Gladman.
Lose weight; clear out those coats, boots, scarves and bags that took up permanent residence during the winter months. They add weight as well as taking up space, and surplus weight means wasted fuel
Cut down on the salt; modern cars are much less prone to rust than their forbearers, but corrosion-causing salt from gritted roads can build up under the wheel arches and the suspension. Use a hose pipe to flush the wheel arches clean; if you have a pressure washer, even better. If not, try washing the arches after driving on wet roads – the mud and grit will have softened. The neighbours might think you’re peculiar but you’ll reduce the risk of expensive repairs
Test your vision; the demister puts a film of grime from traffic fumes on the inside of the windscreen which can spread bright sunshine into a blinding glare. Get the screen squeaky clean with water and detergent, dry with a microfibre cloth and crystal clear vision will be restored. Don’t forget the other windows; clean screens rarely mist up so you’ll need the heated rear window far less – another fuel saver
Keep hay fever at bay; most cars have pollen filters, but they need changing periodically to remain efficient. Look in your handbook to find out how to get to the filter and if it looks bad, change it now. Some very good after-market filters are available online, often with a charcoal layer to filter out pollutants as well as pollen
Don’t get hot and bothered; air conditioning is a boon as the temperature rises, but it contains a special gas which can slowly leak away. If it gets too low, the air-con will blow warm instead of cold. Test it by turning the heater control to minimum, the heater fan to maximum and make sure the air-con is turned on (i.e., not in “eco” mode). If you don’t feel an icy blast after a couple of minutes, the system may need “re-gassing”; a simple job which most garages have the equipment to do.
Richard said: “In conjunction with other spring cleaning treat your car, the efforts to wash and polish it will last a bit longer now the winter salt has gone. Now is a good time to spend a therapeutic Sunday morning tinkering.”
Do you want to find out more ways to stay safe on the road? Try our Advanced Driving Course and get the best out of yourself and your car.