Volunteers are the backbone of the community transport

Helping the community: Gordon McNally, Leigh Najdovski and Beth Gibson got involved with community transport as volunteers to help others.

Helping the community: Gordon McNally, Leigh Najdovski and Beth Gibson got involved with community transport as volunteers to help others.

It can sometimes be difficult for people in regional areas to get to all the places they need to go.

Whether it be a specialist appointment in Newcastle or needing to purchase an item that can only be found Forster, if you don't have a car, you can't get there.

Sometimes even getting around Gloucester can be a challenge, as there is no public transport.

Knowing people need a hand, is what attracted Beth Gibson, Leigh Najdovski and Gordon McNally to volunteer with Gloucester's Manning Valley and Area Community Transport.

For Beth and Leigh, their volunteer hours eventually transformed into employment, but for Gordon, he's currently in his 10th year of driving. And he loves it, not just the chance to drive but to chance to provide a helping hand. 

"I like the service to the community," he said. "I like that I'm helping people out who need it. And they really appreciate too."

Gordon is among five volunteer drivers and a list of volunteers who hop into the bus trip to lend a hand. The bus trips take people on shopping trips around Gloucester, as well as bigger outings to Taree, Forster and Raymond Terrace. The volunteers who come aboard help the partons carry their shopping on and off the bus. As there is only one employed driver, working only a few days a week, but there is a need for transportation almost daily, the volunteers are the lifeline of the network.

Recently, the organisation was given a new vehicle to help service the communities south of Gloucester, including Garvin, Stroud, Booral and Allworth, which is very exciting for Beth, knowing she will be able to help even more people get to where they need to go. The service is mainly for people aged over 65, as it's partly subsided by the Australian Government's My Aged Care transportation scheme.

The service is always in need of new volunteers, so if you're interested, contact the Gloucester office on 6558 2104.