Community transport service debuts in Walpole
In a first of its kind in regional WA, St John Ambulance’s Walpole-Nornalup Sub Centre is launching a new community transport service which will help make it easier for people to travel to and from their medical appointments in the region.
The service has been developed and funded by the sub centre and is geared towards residents of the Walpole, Nornalup and surrounding districts.Great Southern regional manager Cassandra Hughes said the community transport service was developed to meet the need for cost-effective and care-appropriate services across WA.
“The service provides non-emergency transport for residents and involves a pick up from their home in the community transport vehicle and travel to their medical appointment in neighbouring communities such as Albany or Denmark,” she said.
“The Walpole-Nornalup sub centre identified a gap in the services available to people in the region and took the initiative to develop this service which will benefit the community enormously.
“It’s important to pay tribute to the hard work of all the volunteers involved and to the outstanding support of the community to make it happen.
“This new resource will be invaluable for those members of the public who don’t have many transport options and our St John volunteers are able to provide not only transport, but also companionship to people for these medical appointments.
“St John has more than 125 years’ experience in caring for the health and wellbeing of the WA community and this is just another way in which we are supporting the local community,” said Ms Hughes.
The new vehicle for this service, a Subaru Forrester, will be based out of the Walpole-Nornalup Sub Centre and the program will be staffed by volunteer community transport attendants, led by coordinator Kaye Hall.
Passengers interested in using the service will need to be mobile (walking aids are permitted), be medically stable and be attending a scheduled medical appointment.
The Walpole-Nornalup Sub Centre hosted sausage sizzle on 21 March, which gave the opportunity for the public to meet the team of community transport attendants and ask questions about the service.
St John started a similar service in Perth two years ago and it now has hundreds of clients each month.