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Refuge collectors ferry in nurses stranded by snow
TWO BIN men have been praised for volunteering to help Prospect Hospice carers reach people in need during the chaos caused by snow.
The Swindon Commercial Services workers Kevin Potts and his colleague Keith, who wouldn’t give his surname and didn’t want to be pictured, were stood down after the snow affected waste collections in the town and were about to go home before the urgent call for help came in.
The two men then rushed to a briefing and were asked to do shuttle runs to help nurses at the Prospect get to and from the Wroughton-based hospice as they were unable to get around.
Kevin, 46, a HGV driver by trade who had some previous rally driving experience, said he was more than happy to help.
He said: “It was a last-minute sort of thing – everybody went home because there was no more we could do and we were last in the office when they asked for volunteers.
“We could not do the rubbish collections and so we were just gritting the yard before it was decided to go home as there was nothing else to do. Then when the call came in for volunteers, it was all systems go.
“We were just taking carers to visit patients’ homes in a 4x4. We did about six runs between us but Keith did more than I did – it was a team effort, so I don’t want people to think I did it all.
“I’m a HGV driver by trade and I’ve also done a bit of rallying in the past, so I’ve got experience of driving in slippery conditions.
“it was nice to be able to help them out, obviously people needed their care and they would not have been able to get there. One day we might need them and then we hope they’d be there for us.”
Jo Hyde, who was the on-call nurses co-ordinator at Prospect on Friday, said: “We are extremely grateful to Kevin and Keith and the whole team for their invaluable support to respond to our need and the needs of our patients in such challenging times.”
Council leader Rod Bluh was full of praise for the pair.
He said: “I was particularly struck by how two of our staff, Kevin and Keith, spent their weekend.
“Their day job is collecting your household waste, which is hugely important, but from Friday afternoon they braved treacherous conditions and used their 4x4 driving skills to transport carers to and from their vital work at the Prospect Hospice, and also to home visits in remote rural locations.”