Volunteer Appeal For Community Transport Drivers

Thursday, 20 August 2015
Good drivers and good communicators are needed to help Portland people to reach their medical appointments.

Portland District Health has appealed for local people to volunteer for its community transport service.

PDH coordinator of volunteers Trish Rawlings said the service had access to nine volunteer drivers but only two were able to drive people to long distance appointments in Melbourne or Geelong.

Drivers are also needed to take people to appointments in Warrnambool and Mt Gambier and to local Portland-based services.

Mrs Rawlings said the service fulfilled an important role in the lives of people who have no other way to get to appointments.

"It's a vital service, even if it's just to bring people to the hospital or Active Health Portland, she said. "People use the service when they have no alternative."

Mrs Rawlings called on community minded people to join the driving pool. "It can be anyone who is a good driver and has good communication skills," she said.

Visits to Melbourne or Geelong are usually needed each week while the service can be used by up to 10 local people each week.

Mrs Rawlings said PDH wanted to share the duties across a wide range of people to ensure it didn't become a burden.

"Some people like to drive long distances but others prefer local trips. We want to make sure we don't tire our drivers," she said.

The drivers also transport visiting specialist surgeons to and from the Mount Gambier airport.

The PDH community transport car, a Toyota Rav, is available for people as a back-up to the Red Cross transport service.

Mrs Rawlings added that other volunteering options are available at PDH for those not interested in driving.

Anyone available to assist with community transport or to volunteer in other areas can contact Mrs Rawlings on 5522 1402.

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