David, 85, is first patient driven to get the COVID jab

David Dale COVID jab

Volunteer Emma taking David Dale to get his COVID jab. - Credit: RDCT

Royston & District Community Transport has taken its first patient to receive the life-saving COVID-19 jab. 

David Dale got in touch with the service when he was told by text message on Thursday last week he was eligible to receive vaccination during the first week it was rolled out. 

The 85-year-old told the Crow: “When I got the text I was astonished. I arranged with Addenbrooke’s to take up their offer of the vaccine and by 9am I was ringing community transport – it was very quick. Royston and its surrounding villages are so lucky to have such a wonderful service available to them.” 

Volunteer driver Emma Daintrey was available to collect David from his home in Royston the following day. He said the appointment at the Cambridge hospital was well organised – and Emma got David back safely within three hours, 

He said: “It’s a monumental task the NHS have but from the first step I took towards the building, they told me exactly where to go and were highly organised. I was very impressed.” 

David has lived in the area with his wife Katherine for 60 years and has a daughter in south London and a son who returned from teaching in China when the pandemic began.  

“We are looking forward to Christmas,” he said.  

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“We know we won’t be able to have family come here but we are optimistic. We hope next year will be an improvement for everybody.” 

Dr John Hedges, the chair of Royston & District Community Transport alerted his team of volunteers when news of the vaccine broke.  

Volunteer Ron Comben, 73, said: “We contacted various parish councils and organisations to let them know we are on standby and have capacity – including use of a wheelchair to get people to their vaccinations. 

“We have face masks for ourselves and passengers, and all drivers have to sanitise vehicles between each trip. 

“Everyone here was getting excited about when they would be called up to get people to have their jabs. We are here – and people in the community will be pleased to know they can call on us at short notice.” 

Call 01763 245228 if you need RDCT’s help with getting to your vaccine and they will do their best to support you.