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Mary – Retirement from Driving Volunteer

Mary – Retirement from Driving Volunteer

This week – National Volunteer Week, we chatted to Mary, our fabulous volunteer who helps support people through the process of retirement from driving, which can happen after illness, injury or from declining health.

What made you decide to become a volunteer?

In the past, I have worked as an English as a Second Language tutor and in Special Education . I believe that people have special strengths and should use these to help others. I love both creative and journalistic writing so use this to record any work I do. When I read of this volunteer role in "Volunteer Canterbury" I remembered how my husband reacted when we were told he could no longer drive, due to ill health and I have used this experience as a basis for my interaction in this role.

What is your role?

As the retirement from driving volunteer, I am notified of senior citizens who have lost their licences who would like some support in navigating this change. I wait a day or two and I contact them and generally chat for a bit, some are quite angry, so we talk it through, I support them and note their circumstances. I arrange to visit them or I can just chat over the phone if they prefer.

I send the person information about “Life After Driving” from Laura Fergusson Brain Injury Trust. There are actually many wonderful services out there for people who can no longer drive – Gold Band and Blue Star have 75% off their fares with a mobility services card so it makes travelling around more affordable. You can also save money by selling your car, and you’ll save on registration, maintenance, petrol and insurance. Uber has a new system that older people can register for. St John also has a service shuttle for transport to medical appointments – for a donation. Many people feel much better knowing about these services.

What do you enjoy about it?

I really enjoy meeting the people because everyone has a story to tell. Because I am not a friend or family member, they feel that can talk to me about what they are going through. Many people have quite a lot of concerns about not driving, so I just listen to their concerns. They are really pleased to have someone to talk to who they don’t have any personal history with. Some are very indignant, and I can understand that, because so much of our lives revolve around driving, but they usually feel a lot better once they know there is support that can help. I just give them practical information and a listening ear.


As driving becomes more challenging for our aging population, we're here to help. Our volunteer support role provides emotional and practical assistance during the transition from driver to non-driver. This service is unique to Laura Fergusson Brain Injury Trust. We're committed to ensuring your transportation needs are met in new ways, offering hope and understanding throughout the process. We are so grateful to Mary for her amazing work in supporting people going through this transition!