The founder of a Dutch charity which helps terminally ill people achieve their last wishes is helping to set up a similar charity in West Suffolk.
Ambulance driver Kees Veldboer set up Stichting Ambulance Wens Nederland (Ambulance Wish Foundation) in 2006 after asking a terminally ill ex-sailor if there was anything he wanted to do while waiting for a delayed hospital transfer. The man asked to be taken to the sea for the last time.
Since then, wishes have included beach and art gallery visits and getting patients to family weddings. In Holland the charity has specially built ambulances.
Next Wednesday (October 21) Kees will be visiting Bury, where The Dragonfly Hotel on Symonds Road has donated space for a meeting between noon and 2pm for anyone who wants to get involved.
Bury-based paramedic Alice Berrill is coordinating the move to create an Ambulance Wish Foundation here and said they need volunteers other than medical people.
“We need people who are able to drive, general members of the public to look after admin, PR and everything else charities need,” she said. “We need companies as sponsors and to let people know what we want to do.
“There is a volunteer trying to do it in the Oxford area and another in Scotland. This, initially, will be for West Suffolk but if it is successful it can hopefully be rolled out across the UK.”
Alice said East of England Ambulance service and West Suffolk Hospital had expressed an interest and they were hoping to work with GP surgeries and cancer care charities.
Anyone unable to get to the hotel can contact Alice on 07788 547570 or at www.facebook.com/theambulancewishfoundation