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Hi neighbours, the next issue of Get Growing will now be released early next week, so keep your eyes peeled! In the meantime you can read all previous editions here, so dig in and enjoy!
The St John Health Shuttle service in Thames has welcomed a new vehicle donated by Grassroots Trust.
A ceremony was held at the St John Thames station on Wednesday, July 1, to dedicate the new vehicle, which will be used to transport locals to and from their health appointments.
“St John is grateful for the generosity of Grassroots Trust. Their gift has made it possible for us to replace one of the older vehicles so we can continue to be there for those who need us,” Nissy Concisom, St John community programmes manager northern region said.
“St John is such an essential part of the fabric of New Zealand that it’s easy for us to support such an important service,” says Martin Bradley, Executive Chairman of Grassroots Trust.
“It’s great for us to be able to assist people who cannot assist themselves. It’s a great investment.”
The St John Health Shuttle service was first launched in Hamilton in 1991 and is now operating from 35 locations nationwide. Individuals who face challenges getting to their local doctor or medical appointments at hospital can access the door-to-door service for free but a koha or gold coin donation is appreciated.
The service is having a significant social impact on the communities that depend on it.
“We are providing better access to healthcare; people are missing fewer health appointments and they’re gaining more social contact and connection. We are also seeing a reduction in stress, improvements to health and wellbeing and money saved,” says Ms Concisom.
Dedicated volunteers like Thames resident, Ian Shaw, are crucial to the running of St John’s Health Shuttle service.
In the Hauraki-Coromandel District, there are five vehicles operating in Thames, three in Waihi, two in Whangamata and one in Paeroa, and more drivers are needed now.
“I absolutely love it. The reward of being a health shuttle driver is when someone says, “thank you.” There are so many people who need help and we can always do with more volunteers,” Shaw said.
Individuals who want to make a booking for the St John Health Shuttle service, or individuals wanting to volunteer as a driver, can call St John on 0800 934 287 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.