Living with cancer can be an incredibly anxious time, especially when you have to travel for treatment.
To help, Wessex Cancer Trust provides two free minibus services – our Daisy Buses. The buses collect patients travelling from the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands and take them to their appointments at Southampton General Hospital and Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.
For us, the Daisy Bus is more than just a passenger service. We care deeply about every passenger’s welfare and make sure travelling with us is as reliable, safe and as stress-free as possible. We know people may also be understandably worried about catching Covid-19. During the pandemic our buses have continued to run as normal with increased safety precautions like hand sanitiser and thorough cleaning.
But it’s the people who really make a difference, and many of our passengers tell us that travelling on the Daisy Bus gives them a sense of community, support and friendship. Being able to share experiences with others who are going through something similar can be incredibly comforting. Someone who really makes a difference and is at the heart of every journey from the Southsea Hoverport to the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth and back again is our driver, Lyn Blake.
Lyn has been driving the Daisy Bus since the start of the first lockdown and for her it’s the perfect role, enabling her to combine her driving skills (she was a taxi driver for 11 years), with being a real ‘people person’. Every day, from Monday to Friday, she makes eight trips to and from the Hospital. She explains why it’s important she helps passengers feel at ease:
“Most people who get on the bus are understandably nervous. Some are at the start of their treatment and others travel on the bus regularly, so we do our best to create a really warm and reassuring atmosphere where people support each other. I like to try and put people at ease and have a bit of a laugh and keep the journey as light-hearted as possible. My Dad died of cancer and my brother’s had it too, so it’s something close to my heart. I get lots of ‘thank yous’ from our passengers, so it’s lovely to know I’m helping to make what could be quite a stressful experience a little bit easier.”
Lyn certainly is making a huge difference, as Jeff from Freshwater on the Isle of Wight explains:
“For me, the Daisy Bus has been a lifeline. It’s not just the transport though – I’ve made so many friends on the bus, and because we’re all going through the same thing we support each other. I’d be lost without it.”
You can find out more about our passenger services here.