Celebrating community transport

March 29, 2024 BY

It's a joy: Flying Doctor Community Transport volunteer Glenda Wilson said she would highly recommend volunteering to everyone. Photo: SANDRA JAMES

FLYING Doctor Community Transport (FDCT) staff and volunteers this week celebrated Victorian Community Transport Week.

More than 3,300 community members across the state have now signed up to use FDCT.

The service began in Heathcote in 2019 and has since expanded to 10 locations, ensuring people can attend health care appointments both locally and in neighbouring regional cities.

“For many people living in the bush, it is a simple fact that they don’t have the same transport options available as people in the city,” said Royal Flying Doctor Service Victoria chief executive Scott Chapman.

“Without FDCT, our clients would have to rely on family and friends to take time out of their working day and that’s not always possible.

“As a result, many stop attending.

“That is what I want to celebrate this Community Transport Week – the incredible efforts of our wonderful volunteer drivers.

“The impact in communities across Victoria ensures we can help people take control of their own health and avoid preventable hospitalisations.”

Glenda Wilson has been a volunteer driver for four years.

“I went on long service leave from my job in the office at Broadford High School and wondered what I could do,” said Ms Wilson.

“I saw an advertisement asking for volunteers and applied. After training, I began volunteering every Wednesday.

“It was a joy. I enjoyed it so much that when I went back to work, I kept it up and now I’ve retired, I still volunteer every Wednesday.”

Ms Wilson started with the service just before the first COVID restrictions.

“Some of the clients told me how much they looked forward to going to appointments with FDCT because it was the only time they saw anyone.

“On each trip I talk to the people and try and take their minds off any worries.

“After a while you get to know regular clients and we often have a laugh.

“Sometimes I help with extras like bringing in mail and everyone is so appreciative.

“And the staff are wonderful. I always feel fully supported when I’m out on the road and I would recommend volunteering to anyone.”

For information on how to support the FDCT service, call 03 7046 4664 or email [email protected]