By Derek Schlennstedt
Healesville Interchurch Community Care Inc (HICCI) is seeking volunteer drivers to help with the volunteer social transport service they offer.
The service seeks to help individuals who cannot drive and are unable to catch public transport.
Volunteer drivers are able to provide assistance by transporting clients to health appointments, day centres and a range of social activities within the community.
Available to anyone with a full driver’s licence, the program offers locals a fantastic opportunity to help individuals who are unable to transport themselves to surrounding areas.
All associated costs are paid for by HICCI and volunteers are provided with a company car, or if they prefer can use their own vehicle.
“All you have to do is come in,” Alisson Gommers, executive officer at HICCI, said.
Drivers can nominate what times best suit them and Ms Gommers said that feedback from the drivers showed that they really enjoyed building a relationship with the clients.
“Every volunteer is part of the HICCI team and they’re always made to feel part of the team.”
Particularly with the drivers they get to build some really nice relationships with the clients and the feedback we get is that they really enjoy that time,” Ms Gommer said.
Peter Hall, a driver with HICCI for over eight years said he found the role extremely fulfilling and enjoyed helping and driving others around.
HICCI advises the drivers on when, where and how long the expected drive and pick-up will take.
“We get the name and the time and the destination before accepting so we know what is going on,” he said.
“Initially I thought it was a good opportunity for doing something effective but I find it very fulfilling and for me being new to the area, it’s great learning all about the history of the place, one of the best organisations ever worked for and they are very caring.”
With flexibility to choose your own days, hours and times, even drivers with limited time availability are able to take part.
For those who rely on the drivers, HICCI is a godsend, allowing them to travel to vital appointments.
Bill Gamble is one of the users of the service and said he didn’t know what he would do without them.
“I’ve personally used HICCI several times now … I don’t know how some people would get on without them,” he said.
“These drivers do a fantastic job for very little.”
Despite the fantastic job drivers do, HICCI is struggling to meet the demand of patrons who rely on the service and asking for volunteers in the area who might have some spare time.
HICCI is also in dire need of receptionists to help at the front desk. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, simply call 5911 600 or visit the HICCI office at 231 Maroondah Highway, Healesville.