Community Transport and CT Passenger were recently able to come to the aid of a West Bromwich based gentleman, who was in desperate need of transport to take him to his hospital radiotherapy appointments.

As the sole carer for his wife, who is herself ill and cannot be left for alone for long, it was important that he was out of the house for the shortest possible time.  

He had previously contacted several organisations who unfortunately were not able to assist. Thankfully, Community Transport and CT Passenger was able to help, which was a huge relief.

The situation: 

Dr Atterbury (81) a retired chartered scientist is suffering from an aggressive form of cancer, for which he has had to have a four-week course of chemotherapy. He had been driving himself to New Cross Hospital at the start of the treatment, giving him the flexibility to be out of the house for the minimum amount of time necessary. But as his treatment progressed, he became too tired to continue safely and nervous about driving. So, he knew that he needed to reach out for help.

Patient transport had been offered by the hospital but using a non-emergency ambulance service could mean he could be out of the house all day. 

He had then costed up a taxi service to and from his home, but as the appointments were daily, this was proving expensive. He also feared for his health, as undergoing aggressive radiotherapy has weakened his immune system.

As the sole carer for his wife of 61 years, he was quite obviously worried about leaving her for longer than necessary. She is herself is very poorly with a life-long disability and cannot be left safely alone in the house for long periods of time. The thought of being away from her for hours on end at the hospital, had made the doctor anxious and worried.

Dr Atterbury had never been in the situation of needed help before, and so was naturally reluctant to reach out for assistance. The hospital had given him the contact details of several organisations who they thought could help. However, after reaching out to these he had had no luck in gaining support.

Luckily one of the numbers he had been given was Community Transport.

How Community Transport were able to help:

Dr Atterbury called Community Transport at our national head office on a Friday. One of our team took his details and promised to check to see how we could help and be back in touch.

His details were passed onto Community Transport Chief Executive, Jo Beaumont to see if there was anything we could do. Jo was able to call the doctor back on the Saturday morning, and he explained just how desperate and anxious he was about the whole situation. 

Jo agreed that we would help him immediately on the Monday morning and that we would also check to see if we could assist him longer term. That he must not worry and that we would do what we could.

After speaking with the Wolverhampton passenger transport team, including Liz Sutton Operations Director South and Sue Cozens Passenger Services Manager on the Monday, it was agreed that we would continue to support Dr Atterbury for the duration of his treatment. Collecting him from his home to take him to his daily appointments, returning him back as soon as possible.

Jo then called him back to tell him the good news.

This service was offered free of charge, on a drop and wait basis. So that he would be out of the house and away from his wife for a minimum amount of time. Picking him from his home at 9.45am, taking him to his appointment at New Cross Hospital Wolverhampton at 10.30am. Then waiting the hour needed for his treatment and returning him home.

Jo Beaumont said: “When I spoke to Dr Atterbury to tell him how we were able to support him, he was incredibly relieved. He explained that he’d never had to ask for help before, but now realised that his treatment means that he could no longer drive himself. Community Transport exists to provide support for people who need a helping hand and has been built on helping out in situations just like this. There are many people now, and in the future, in Dr Atterbury’s position who are fiercely independent, but who in some circumstances, need organisations like Community Transport. We were delighted that we’ve been able to help someone, who was feeling vulnerable and isolated.”

Dr Atterbury said, after finishing his treatment, “If you want to know the absolute truth, I was at my wits end. I didn’t know which way to turn and have been overwhelmed. I am not used to asking for help, so the support I’ve received from Community Transport has been immense. I can’t thank you all enough.”

He continued: “I can’t thank the team enough for sorting things out so quickly. Thanks to Jo, Liz and Sue at Bilston an arrangement was made to pick me up and bring me home each day at a time to accommodate my hospital times. Wonderful!” 

Dr Atterbury was also very complimentary about his minibus driver Jas Dhap, “Thanks to your driver Jas, who has always been punctual, helpful and a pleasure to be with. After the treatment each day, I’ve sometimes been a little unwell, but he has always been there for me making sure I was OK and getting me home safely.”

Thankfully, Dr Atterbury has now finished his treatments and has to wait for 3 months, to see whether it has been successful or if he requires further treatment.

He has written a letter to the team at Community Transport to say thank you (typed up by his granddaughter) and has briefly made a visit into the office on his way back from his final hospital appointment, to say a personal thank you. He plans to make a donation to the charity, so they can continue to provide help to others.

New Cross Hospital is part of the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and is located in the Heath Town district of Wolverhampton.

The letter from Dr Atterbury:

Dear Jo

I would like to offer my most sincere thanks to you and your wonderful staff for the assistance you have given me over the last three weeks.

I contacted your office when my back was against the wall and I needed help. I am aged 81 and suffering from an aggressive internal cancer for which I am attending hospital for treatment daily.

Unfortunately, my wife is ill and needs assistance at home.

As her only carer, there is much that I need to do before I can safely leave her. Even then I need to be away for the minimum time.

Prior to this I had been driving myself, but as the treatment progressed, I found this was becoming dangerous and I contacted several organisations for assistance without success until I found yourselves.

I certainly did not expect you, as CEO, to call me offering immediate assistance (on a Saturday morning).

Thanks to you and Liz, things moved quickly, and I believe via Sue at Bilston an arrangement was made to pick me up and bring me home each day at a time to accommodate my hospital times. Wonderful!

Thanks to your driver Jas, who has always been punctual, helpful and a pleasure to be with each day. After treatment each day, I’ve sometimes been a little unwell, but he has always been there for me as the face of your organisation.

So, well done Jo, you have an organisation of which you can be proud. I’m proud of you!

Yours sincerely

Dr Terry Atterbury

Community Transport CT Passenger case study

More about Community Transport:

Community Transport are a self-funded National charity, which for over 50 years has been providing essential services and support in local communities.

It aims to bring people and opportunities together to transform lives and build better communities. It provides support for those who need a helping hand, or are feeling vulnerable or isolated through the activities of its two main divisions: CT Passenger and CT Furniture.

CT Passenger provides a caring specialist transport service to improve people’s quality of life, delivering services in several local authority areas. It runs a fleet of wheelchair accessible minibuses and provides journeys for people with physical disabilities and for those who struggle to get out of the house.

CT Furniture aims to provide people in need with access to affordable furniture. It does this through furniture donations, these items are resold through the network of shops or via online stores, with the aim of encouraging furniture re-use and reducing the number of items going to landfill.

All surplus funds raised through these sales of furniture are used by the charity to help support more people, whether that is by providing household items, transporting those with mobility issues or taking those isolated for their shopping.

CT Passenger has sites in the West Midlands in Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton. The North East is serviced from its depot in Newcastle.

CT Furniture has stores in the North East of England, across Newcastle, Blyth and Peterlee. It also has branches in the West Midlands in Birmingham, Bilston and West Bromwich. The national office is based in Brighouse in West Yorkshire.

CT Furniture is a division of the Charity Community Transport Reg. Charity: No 247331.

Helping create a better everyday life for local people since 1964.

More information about the charity can be found at:


This article first appeared on the Community Transport blog at: