Drivers are on the buses in aid of hospice hill climb

Arriva bus driver Andy Gilbert will be volunteering to help with the Rennie Grove 3 Peaks Challenge
Arriva bus driver Andy Gilbert will be volunteering to help with the Rennie Grove 3 Peaks Challenge

Ten bus drivers are volunteering their time for free to help ferry walkers back and forth for Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s seventh annual hill climb event.

The Chiltern 3 Peaks Challenge is happening on Sunday, September 13 and Arriva’s Aylesbury depot has donated 10 buses to help the event run smoothly.

Hundreds of participants tackle either Whiteleaf Cross and Coombe Hill on the five-mile route, or all three peaks to finish at the top of Ivinghoe Beacon for the nine or 18 mile options.

This is where Arriva comes in, as buses wait in Wendover to transport five-mile walkers back to their cars in Princes Risborough, and the nine-milers on to the last leg in Tring.

More buses await walkers at the bottom of Ivinghoe Beacon to take them back to their cars.

Bus driver Andy Gilbert said: “This will be the fourth year that I’ve volunteered and I absolutely love it!

“Everyone is so friendly and so happy – even if they’re exhausted. I love that we as drivers can help keep that atmosphere going by being welcoming and upbeat as passengers board the bus.

“It’s not like going to work – it’s completely different. You can just enjoy the drive through the countryside, the celebratory feeling and the sense of giving something back to the community.

“It’s such a good cause, enabling patients to be cared for at home. None of us knows when we might need that service.

“It’s testament to how much fun it is that colleagues are so keen to volunteer each year.

And it’s not just the drivers who donate time during the event; our duty manager Dave Chapman puts a lot of work into arranging the rota for the event and organising us on the day.

“And the lads back at the depot who wash the buses all make it possible for us to help out. It’s a real team effort but we’re very happy to help.”

Gillian adds: “We are so grateful to Arriva for their ongoing support. We simply couldn’t host this event without their input.

“The drivers are fantastic and always go above and beyond to make everyone feel safe and welcome.”

Register now at www. 3peaks or call 01442 820740. Entry is £20 for adults and £10 for children aged five to 16 (under fives go free).