Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Volunteers welcome new ambulance thanks to hard work of late community champion John Godsman

The "wee blue" ambulance is helping patients in and around Portlethen and Newtonhill get to vital appointments.

Sheila Godsman and Lyn King cut ribbon for new ambulance
Sisters Sheila Godsman and Lyn King doing the formal inauguration of the new vehicle on Saturday morning. Image: Gill Drain.

Stonehaven man John Godsman was finalising the details for a new community ambulance before his death at the end of last year.

The 67-year-old spent many years dedicating his free time to the Portlethen and District Voluntary Community Ambulance Association.

As well as being a regular behind the wheel, John made sure the ambulance was always running smoothly while working to secure a new vehicle for the community.

The new “wee blue” ambulance was delivered earlier this year and was officially unveiled during an open day event on Saturday with a tribute to their late member.

Portlethen ambulance committee and volunteers standing next to ambulance
Volunteer drivers and the committee pose with the new vehicle. Image: Gill Drain.

John’s wife, Sheila Godsman, cut the ribbon alongside her sister, Lyn King, who has recently retired from her role as practice manager at Portlethen Medical Centre.

It was Lyn who encouraged John to start volunteering with the community ambulance back in 2016.

New ambulance for Portlethen

The community ambulance has been operating in Portlethen, Newtonhill and the surrounding areas since 1982, to take elderly and disabled patients to GP and dental appointments.

Everyone involved with the charity is a volunteer, including 15 drivers who also take local residents to nearby community groups.

David Walton standing next to blue ambulance
Chairman David Walton gave an opening speech. Image: Gill Drain.

Chairman David Walton got involved after using the service himself four years ago.

“I was not able to drive for about a month,” he said. “I used the ambulance myself to get to the medical centre for my appointments.

“That is how I got to know about it.

“I then inquired about being a driver and it’s all gone from there.”

John Godsman wearing black Nike t-shirt
Volunteering with the ambulance was one of many things John Godsman did to help his local community. Image: SDMC/Facebook.

David was on the committee alongside John, who was voted in as maintenance co-ordinator at the AGM in 2019.

He would take the ambulance home every month to make sure it was looking its best for all the patients.

“If anything went wrong or needed replacing, all we had to do was call John and he would sort things out at short notice,” he said.

“It was John who finalised the specifications and was in regular contact with the vehicle supplier, ensuring all the fine details were communicated clearly and the internal fitting-on was on schedule.

John Godsman tribute on ambulance
A tribute to John Godsman on the side of the “wee blue” ambulance. Image: Gill Drain.

“It is down to John that we now have the vehicle that exactly meets our requirements.”

Generous donations from community

The “wee blue” ambulance has now been on the road for a couple of months making it possible for many people to get to vital appointments.

As well as the hard work from John and the rest of the committee, they were able to purchase the upgraded vehicle thanks to grants or funds from the Newtonhill Common Good Fund, Newtonhill Community Council, Portlethen Town Association and Aberdeenshire Council.

Helen Ann Cooper standing next to open door of new community ambulance
Helen Ann Cooper who was the first passenger in the new vehicle. Image: David Walton.

Generous donations were also received from Brio Retirement Living, Kepak McIntosh Donald, Macphie of Glenbervie, Michies Chemist and Meikle Carewe Wind Farm, as well as local businessmen Colin Lawson and Graham Thom.

North East MSP Liam Kerr said he was “delighted to attend the unveiling of the new community ambulance.

Liam Kerr, Colin Stratton and Hugh Wheelan with blue ambulance
MSP Liam Kerr with drivers Colin Stratton and Hugh Wheelan, who maintains the vehicle. Image: Gill Drain.

He said: “This is a brilliant new addition to this longstanding community service which will provide crucial protection and support for the community.

“When it comes to health matters, every second counts and the new ambulance will really help ensure those that need assistance get it.

“This is a great example of hard-working volunteers coming together and I commend this dedicated group who have marshalled resources for the benefit of the town and the surrounding area.”

To read more about John Godsman click here.