Staff from volunteer services at Royal Oldham Hospital, alongside colleagues from NorthCare Charity and the Deputy Mayor of Oldham were in attendance to cut the ribbon on the brand-new, all-electric Royal Rover vehicle on Friday 7 June.

image00035 (2).jpegThe event, which marked the end of Volunteers Week, marked the start of a brand-new era for the Royal Rover service, which has been transporting patients, visitors, and colleagues across the hospital site for more than ten years. The service is available on-demand, passengers can ‘hail and ride’ the bus on the hospital site, or call to request a pickup, and is free of charge to all staff and service users.

“Friday was a special event, made possible by our catering and education centre colleagues, and very much appreciated by the large number of volunteers who attended to celebrate the end of Volunteers Week this year”, said Shaun Furlong, Operational and Project Lead for Volunteer Services.

“The day was made even more special having the Deputy Mayor ‘cut the ribbon’ on the brand new electric Royal Rover minibus which has been providing safe and comfortable transport for many years. The project to replace the bus has been a long time in the making, and we’re excited to finally see it on site, and in action!”

The new vehicle was purchased by NorthCare Charity, the official charity of Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust. The charity raises funds for projects above and beyond the scope of the NHS, across the Trust’s four hospitals and community services.

“We are delighted to have funded the new Royal Rover vehicle”, said Jess Pollard, Community Fundraising Manager. “The shuttle service is a lifeline for patients, colleagues and the Oldham community, especially those who have limited mobility or don’t have access their own vehicle.

“It’s a great example of the huge difference charitable funds make, and we’re grateful for every donation, from one-off contributions to gifts in Wills. Not only is the new all-electric Royal Rover an enhancement of the equipment used to support patients, colleagues and visitors across the Trust, it also improves their wellbeing too.”

The hospital is looking to expand the Royal Rover Volunteer Team now that the new vehicle is in use, and is looking for drivers and assistants. Those interested in applying can do so here.