Over 70 volunteers for a Northamptonshire charity worked around the clock in December to help transport nurses and doctors to see their patients during the bitter weather.
Many people rely on services that normally get taken for granted such as carer or district nurse visits, but when the roads become treacherous through ice, snow or flooding these services become a lot harder to provide. Volunteers from the charity Northants 4x4 Response covered hundreds of miles in Northamptonshire over the festive period, providing specialist transport for the emergency and essential services who needed to carry out their work regardless of the conditions.
Northants 4x4 Response saw about 70 volunteers who gave up their time, skills and the use of their own four-wheel drive vehicles to help their local communities when needed.
A spokesman for the charity said: "We know how difficult it can be keep the county running smoothly in severe weather conditions, so our volunteers are here to provide support twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, wherever we might be required in the county."
“Not only do they make use of their skill and experience of driving in poor conditions, but they are also equipped to keep themselves and their passengers safe while venturing out in the kind of severe weather conditions when most people would prefer to stay safely indoors.”
Anyone taking to the roads themselves is encouraged to plan ahead and ensure they have sufficient warm clothing with them in case they get stuck in snow or caught in traffic jams, as well as food and water, a shovel, torch and a tow rope for their vehicle.
The charity urges drivers to take a few minutes to prepare and check over their cars, which can prevent a long cold wait should anything go wrong on the journey, even if it is only a short trip.
Northants 4x4 Response, a registered charity that was established in 2008, is one of 30 groups that makes up the 4x4 Response UK network that covers most of the UK and Isle of Man, with combined strength of around 1800 volunteers and vehicles.