A VOLUNTEER has taken up driving ambulances during the coronavirus pandemic.

Driving instructor Tracy Spencer is a long-standing volunteer for veteran charity Help for Heroes, but when lockdown hit and she was forced to step back from her duties, she looked for other ways to help others in the crisis.

"I'm married to a ex-veteran who works for Help for Heroes, and it's a cause close to my heart.

"I was one of 2500 people who applied for the role as a ambulance driver with the NHS, so it was a privilege to be chosen," said Ms Spencer.

"We had to go complete a driving assessment, a eye test and a basic health check, plus a two day course in training for the role."

Ms Spencer, from Gateshead, has completed one shift so far.

"It's half driving and half sitting in the back. When we're in the back of the ambulance with the patients, my job was to essential comfort them in what is a very scary situation. People are nervous about being taken to hospital anyway, never mind with the coronavirus, I'm here to help them through that moment."

Ms Spencer's role also includes delivering PPE to hospitals and deep cleaning the ambulance.