Call for volunteers for Hawera-based shuttle service

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 05:00 24/01/2014

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Hawera's latest health initiative needs people to get it moving.

A call for more volunteers has been made by St John as it prepares to launch a Hawera-based shuttle service.

From April 1, the St John Taranaki Health Shuttle will offer a door-to-door service to people who need transport to and from medical or hospital appointments.

Two round trips are planned each weekday from Hawera to New Plymouth and between Hawera, Manaia and Patea depending on demand.

But for the service to be a success it needs the essential ingredient of volunteers.

"We need enough volunteers to make sure that the service can run five days a week, 52 weeks a year," said project co-ordinator Max Hutchinson.

He said the service would complement what is already offered by the Taranaki District Health Board (TDHB) and would be available to anyone who needed it.

In February, the TDHB shuttle will be replaced by a new public bus service between Hawera and New Plymouth. This service will be managed by the Taranaki Regional Council.

Mr Hutchinson said similar services are run by St John in areas like Whanganui and Palmerston North and typically catered for people who had mobility issues or did not have their own transport.

He said the project needed about 25 volunteers before the start of April to ensure the service was viable.

"If there's not the interest then it won't happen," he said.

As part of St John volunteer drive, public meetings will be held in Hawera to provide information about the service.

The meetings will be held at the St John Hall, Princes St, Hawera on January 27 at 2pm and 7pm and on January 28 at 10am.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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