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Thetford volunteer Tony Croome is celebrated for his work by EACH

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 June 2017 | UPDATED: 12:33 02 June 2017

Tony Croome has spent the past three years as a volunteer driver for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH). Picture: EACH

Tony Croome has spent the past three years as a volunteer driver for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH). Picture: EACH

Archant

A retired driving examiner has swapped the passenger seat for the driver’s seat to help a children’s charity.

Tony Croome, from Thetford, spent 24 years assessing learner drivers but now transports some of the 134 children and young people with life-threatening conditions cared for by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) at Quidenham.

The 70-year-old spotted an advert asking for volunteer drivers and has been driving the children, accompanied by a nurse, from their homes to the hospice and back for the last three years.

He has no set hours and instead works on a driver’s rota.

Mr Croome, who has been married for 36-and-a-half years, said: “I thought this would be a very worthwhile and rewarding job - and it is.

“Some of the children are right characters, funny and inspirational. I enjoy it immensely and I’d certainly recommend getting involved.

“It’s very worthwhile because you do make a difference in a practical way to not only the child but to their families and carers, too.”

EACH has been celebrating Volunteers Week by recognising and thanking its 1,300 volunteers who support the charity.

It relies on volunteers across all areas of its work to help generate income via fundraising and its shops, maintaining hospice gardens and supporting families with daily household tasks through its Help at Home scheme.

Hannah Diaper, EACH volunteer development manager, said: “We want to take the opportunity this week to recognise and celebrate the difference that volunteers like Tony make to the charity and the families that access our care services.

“For example, our Help at Home scheme has volunteers matched with 20 local families and they support them with household tasks such as cleaning, shopping and gardening. Families tell us this is a huge help, enabling them to spend time nursing their child or simply being a family.

“Volunteers help us in so many ways, bringing new skills and experience and we are grateful for their time and their continued support.”

EACH is raising money to build a new £10m hospice at Framingham Earl. To sponsor the nook appeal, visit www.each.org.uk/the-nook or call the hospice on 01953 666767.

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