One of Melton’s most committed community volunteers has been thanked for his 20 years of service.
Roger Hodson, a driver for Voluntary Action Melton, transports elderly and disabled people to social events and hospital appointments.
Colleagues at the organisation presented the 78-year-old with a celebratory cake and an engraved keyring to mark his dedication to the work.
Roger said: “When I took early retirement this was something I decided to do to put something back into the community.
“I worked out the other day that I have driven people to 27 different hospitals all over the country.
“I’ve got to know no end of people over the years.
“People will often say ‘hello’ to me as I’m walking through Melton but I don’t always remember who they are because there has been so many.”
Roger is the longest serving of the 30 drivers used by the voluntary group, which is based at Phoenix House on Nottingham Road.
He gets petrol money but gives his time for his various journeys without being paid.
“One of the longest jobs I’ve had was down to St Thomas’s Hospital in London, which is near Tower Bridge,” recalled Roger.
“I had to wait a while for the person I was driving and it was about 11 hours later when I got back home.”
Roger, who was a keen supporter of Holwell Sports FC and is now on the committee at Sileby Town FC, worked in engineering, spending 25 years at Rearsby Automotives.
He joined the voluntary group when it was calledthe Melton Volunteer Bureau and was based in Windsor Street.
He added: “A few people I drive are a bit stroppy but the majority are nice people.
“Voluntary Action Melton is such an important service for Melton. If the council ever scrapped it, no councillors would be voted back in.”
Angie Butcher, transport manager at Voluntary Action Melton, said: “Roger was chuffed to bits when we made the presentations to him.
“He’s absolutely brilliant. He’s so caring and the clients all love him and many ask for him to be their driver.
“On some jobs he might have to wait at the hospital for four or five hours but it’s no problem for him and he drives the person home again.”
Anyone who would like to volunteer for work as a driver for Voluntary Action Melton is invited to telephone Angie on 01664 482903.