Free Cancer Care Ambulance Service
958. Brian Burnie
Brian Burnie, from Newcastle, has created an organisation to provide free ambulance transport for outpatients undergoing cancer treatment. Brian started his work in 2010 and now has a volunteer force of 350 drivers and a fleet of 25 ambulances.
The service carries out 30,000 journeys each year and drivers are on hand to stay with patients throughout their treatment for company if needed. Brian, who has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, is currently on a mission to replicate his ambulance service elsewhere in the country. He is undertaking a two year 7,000 mile trek around the coasts of Britain and Ireland, to spread the word about the charity and offer financial and administrative support to those who wish to establish the service in new areas.
In a personal letter to Brian, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Your work is improving the lives of thousands of cancer patients undergoing treatment in the North East. By helping patients travel to and from hospital, your team of hundreds of volunteers are providing them with comfort and companionship at a very challenging time. I wish you the very best of luck with your current efforts to expand your successful model to new areas of the country.”
“I am both delighted and honoured to receive this award and do so on behalf of the 300 volunteers we have working so tirelessly from ‘Daft as a Brush House’ in Newcastle. With their hard work and commitment to the charity, we achieve some 40,000 cancer patient journeys each year. It is very touching for the volunteers and the charity to be recognised.
“By visiting Cancer Centres throughout Great Britain and Ireland, my goal is to take the charity nationwide by walking 7,000 miles around the coastal path of Great Britain and Ireland. Together we can create 1,000,000 cancer patient journeys.”
Jean Ross, Trust Secretary for ‘Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care’:
“Brian’s passion for the Charity is infectious, he has incredible drive and determination in everything he does. We are so proud to have such amazing volunteers and Brian is part of that team. We are genuinely thrilled that he has won this award.”
Pictured below: Brian with his award