A Suffolk-based volunteer has been presented with a community award after dedicating years of his life to supporting his local town.
Glenn Barker, aged 70, from Bury was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement accolade at the Bury Free Press Community Awards recently, after being nominated and recognised for his contribution as a Volunteer Car Service (VCS) driver for E-zec in Suffolk.
Glenn said: “I’m still a little overwhelmed after receiving this award – I can’t believe it. I absolutely love what I do, and have been a VCS driver for E-zec since the inception of the Suffolk/Waveney contract back in 2019. Before this, I was a VCS driver for the East of England Ambulance Service for 10 years.
“About 16 years ago, I suffered a cardiac arrest. After a spell in hospital and eight weeks in rehabilitation, my only means of accessibility was through hospital transport. I was so incredibly grateful for this service, which allowed me to remain a sense of independence. So, I made it my mission to return to full health, and become part of this incredible initiative at E-zec”.
The Lifetime Achievement award recognises those who have, over a lifetime, made significant positive contributions to Bury, striving to make it a better place for those within it. Glenn was nominated due to going above and beyond – he’s driven over 900,000 miles, and has been known to personally contact service users the day before transport is arranged to ease anxieties and boost familiarity.
“The most rewarding part of the job is the people that you meet,” Glenn continued. “In my time, I’ve come across some wonderful individuals, and being able to play just a small part of the journey – in what is typically a daunting or scary time of their life – is an absolute pleasure. For example, I’ve taken young adults who’ve had kidney transplants to post-op care, and have tried to relieve some stress and anxiety for service users attending oncology appointments.
“I’m incredibly humbled – thank you to those who nominated me. And to anyone considering becoming a VCS driver – do it! It truly is the most rewarding job in the world.”
Darron Burns, Regional Manager at E-zec Suffolk added: “On behalf of the entire E-zec team, we’d like to wish Glenn huge congratulations for this fantastic recognition. We’re incredibly lucky to have a wonderful team of VCS drivers on the ground, supporting our communities and playing an integral role in the business”.
Congratulations and very well done Glenn! We truly appreciate you!