In late March one of our buses was used as wedding transport in the Southern Highlands for one of our former drivers, James and his partner Eliza who is the daughter of our driver, Norman. Our bus looked fantastic decked out with ribbons, flowers and bunting all thanks to Stav, our wonderful Transport Coordinator who was also the driver for the day. A shuttle was run to transport guests from various hotels around the Mittagong area to the ceremony and reception at the beautiful Growwild Wildflower Farm and then back again. Did you know that our buses are available for hire like this? Contact the office for more information.
The Central ‘Coasters’ is the name we are calling a group of eleven friendly clients who recently enjoyed a three day trip to the Central Coast under the care of our wonderful driver, Stav and very caring bus assistant, Denise.
Leaving Sydney on Tuesday 28th February, the weather was very “iffy” however, after a delicious morning tea of scones, jam and cream at the Ken Duncan Gallery in Erina, the atmosphere very quickly warmed up with us all getting re-acquainted again and really getting in holiday-mode. Lunch that day was at the Erina Rugby Club followed by a drive around the local area and then check-in at The Sails Serviced Apartments.
Breakfast each day was out on the terrace at Crown Plaza with a lovely outlook over the beach at Terrigal. On Wednesday our journey took us on a drive to Avoca Beach (with a visit to the old theatre where Stav put on a “fashion show” for us, dressing up in the old theatre gear! She sure is versatile!) followed by Hardy’s Bay, Kilcare, Woy Woy and then a very interesting visit to Fires Creek Winery where we were put through the process of wine-making using not only grapes but a variety of exotic fruits. We had a charming hostess, Nadia, who then took us of a tour of the grounds. We also enjoyed wine-tasting and cheese.
On Thursday we met up with one of RHHCT’s regular drivers, Steve, and his charming wife, Jo, for a great morning tea in the sunshine overlooking the water at The Entrance. We were so relaxed at that point, we didn’t want to think about returning home. However, all good things must end and we then travelled via Norah Head Lighthouse to the Wyong Milk Factory to buy a delicious assortment of cheeses as well as the chocolate shop! Wow, what you can pack into three days!
Our accommodation was excellent at The Sails and was enjoyable and up until the second night – uneventful! However, that quickly changed as the fire alarm went off in the middle of the night. Fortunately for us it was a false alarm but it made for some very lively conversation at breakfast where we reflected on our individual reaction. (I wonder if there were any CCTV cameras in the hallways? – interesting viewing don’t you think!!). Our thanks to all who were responsible for the planning of another great RHHCT overnight stay.
Kathy (for the ‘Coasters’)
Our very own Stav Contellis has taken out this prestigious award at the annual CTO NSW Conference held at Sydney Olympic Park last week. Stav is our Transport Coordinator extraordinaire. Not only does she oversee the transport operations – bookings, rosters, drivers, vehicles – she also does the bulk of the scheduling. Stav’s enthusiasm is catchy. She always knows how to motivate her staff, make all the drivers feel special and always makes herself available. She works above and beyond the call of duty.
In particular, Stav has worked tirelessly to increase our individual transport operation by at least 16% over the last two years. In the last quarter alone she has increased our trips by 719 trips (in comparison to same time last year). Stav has an excellent team behind her but her ability to retain and build a keen volunteer driver base and her can-do attitude has been the driving force.
Congratulations Stav. We’re very proud of you. Your empathy and care for each and every client shines through all that you do.
Seniors Week saw an increase in activity for many community organisations in March. One particular event I’d like to tell you about is the Driver Safety Workshop that was held in conjunction with Hunters Hill Council.
In our Community Transport bus we took 19 people over to St Ives where they attended the workshop. I was lucky enough to be able to join in.
The team from HARTS Driver Safety offered tips on staying safe on our roads and helpful driving techniques. It included safety demonstrations and morning tea and the gentlemen were only too happy to answer the many questions put to them, including mine!
I now feel more confident driving and appreciate being reminded of road rules, especially regarding roundabouts and lane merging. We were also reminded that once drivers reach 85 years of age they need to have a Senior Driver Assessment through the RMS. Thank you Community Transport and Hunters Hill Council for organising. It was well worth it.
Once a month our clients enjoy a social outing on a Saturday. These are extra-special events, loved by those who attend. They are organised by Stav Contellis, who has the knack of making the days exciting and the passengers are made to feel very special indeed. Recent Mystery Trips have taken the clients to Cronulla, Bulli and the Blue Mountains to see the newly renovated Hydro Majestic followed by lunch at the Blackheath Pub and the chance to browse the antique shop.
In February eight happy passengers set forth on an outing to Riverside Theatre at Parramatta to see the well known musical Phantom of the Opera. This is the first time we offered a Saturday Theatre trip and it was very well received. So much so, that we have nearly doubled our interest for the next one in June to see Mary Poppins.
The April May Social Program is now out. We are heading to Wollongong, The Entrance, Northern Beaches, Springwood as well as some venues closer to home. In April we are going to see the Art Express HSC exhibition at Newington Armory.
Our social outings provide an opportunity for clients to make new friends and get to places that they are now unable to access due to lack of transport. If you are interested in participating please call 02 9816 5000.
It was December 16th, 2013. Bev bit the bullet and decided to join the Community Transport Christmas Lights outing. This was her first time out with a group of total strangers. Bev never looked back. That night she met Norma, who has become one of her closest friends. They now go on outings together, see each other most weeks and if they don’t are always on the phone to each other.
A couple of years ago Bev lost her husband and not long after that stopped driving. This caused her to become isolated and depressed. She is so thankful that she found Community Transport because it “saved her life”. A life that was starting to become very lonely.
Talking to her today you would neve know of the heartache she was going through. Her life has been turned around.
If this story resonates with you, why not consider joining our social outings, or letting a friend know about our service. Our number is 02 9816 5000.
“I would like to thank Norman for all his help today, making an extra trip back to return my lost property. What a wonderful vounteer driver!”Veronica K
“Thank you for a great service. Joseph drove me to and from Macquarie Centre. Joseph was very helpful and assisted me to the door with care. I appreciated this especially, as it was raining”.Mavis R
“I had a lovely trip today to Bondi Beach. Silvio also took us for a scenic drive on the way home and he is very knowledgeable about the area, thanks for a lovely day”.Betty W
“All your drivers are unsung heroes and they should be the ones receiving medals on Australia Day! I would like to thank Iain who helped me yesterday as I was having a bad day and he made it better for me.”Olive S.
“Maria just wanted to say a big thank you for all our help last year and earlier this year and wanted to wish all the staff a merry Christmas as without our help she does not know how she would have coped without our assistance.”Maria C.
“I was very nervous today because it was my first time using your service but Steve the driver made my trip comfortable and I would like to thank Steve for all his help.”Mary S.
“Dianne, thank you for dropping the forms off at my home. Such a load off my mind to know someone is there to help me to my medical appointments. I really appreciate your dedication.”Edna E.
“Many thanks to all the drivers and bus assistants. They are so helpful and make our social outings wonderful and enjoyable. They are good drivers and we feel relaxed, safe and comfortable.”Betty W
“Thank you so much Robyn & Dianne for taking special care of us at Mary Poppins last week, your help was greatly appreciated.”Lauris & Ailsa (HHL)
“Malia & staff, thank you very much for caring and supporting my husband.”Sofi & Samir
“To all the voluntary workers & RHHCT tireless workers in the office for being so patient and understanding. Thank you for all your tireless hands & feet.”Hazel S
“Stav & Malia, What a great trip I had thanks to the both of you. You certainly went beyond your duties always there for us all and taking us to beautiful places, so relaxing, you both did work very hard and never grumbled. I shall always remember Port Stephens trip so thank you both.”Joan R
“On behalf of the Eastwood Ladies Probus Club we would like to pass on a very big thank you to Mike the driver who drove us to Ettalong Diggers Club for our Christmas in July Luncheon. Mike was a very careful, friendly and a thorough gentlemen which made our day very pleasant.”Barbara S.
“Dear Alan, Just a note to express our appreciation to you, as the driver, transporting the members of the Eastwood Garden Club today…. Thank you for being so pleasant and agreeable, with such competent driving skills.”Margaret C
“Thanks to Ken, who seamlessly handled the situation when bus had a flat tyre. Excellent composure and passengers were hardly inconvenienced at all.”Elaine C
“I had an enjoyable morning shopping at Macquarie (Centre) today…. Wonderful, friendly drivers and we are so well looked after. It’s a wonderful service.”Margaret W
“Thanks to all the Community Transport team for your tremendous, supportive, help. Heartfelt thanks for meeting the needs of people like me.”Daniel C