Northern Outlook : April 9th 2014
8 NORTHERN OUTLOOK, APRIL 9, 2014 NEWS Long day for challengers Medical shuttle ‘works beautifully’ By EMILY SPINK HAVING FOUND St John’s North Canterbury Health Shuttle, Rangiora’s Dawn Lee would not travel to her medical appointments any other way. In June 2012, when the service was launched, Lee jumped on board the shuttle to attend appointments at Christchurch hospital. ‘‘It works out beautifully.’’ Neither the 79-year-old nor her husband are able to drive, and the couple have used the service three times since Christmas. Lee said she would not drive in herself, even if she were able to. ‘‘They drop you at the door and pick you up again.’’ Lee said she avoids all the hassle of having to find and pay for parking by using the shuttle. While the St John service requires a donation, it remains so much cheaper than driving, Lee said. As the shuttle picks up several different people along the way, she find it to be a sociable and fun time. She is able to catch up on the local happenings, while also making friends with the other passengers along the way. ‘‘The staff on the service are absolutely fantastic.’’ The retired St John volunteer CACTUSCHALLENGE: Members of the first Canterbury Combined Adolescent Challenge Training Unit and Support (CACTUS) group took part in a super-challenge, The Longest Day, as they finished their eight-week programme. The CACTUS programme aims to build motivation, leadership skills, physical fitness and confidence. The Canterbury course was initiated by Kaiapoi police and participants came from KaiapoiHigh School. The Longest Day included a series of challenges at Kairaki Beach and Blue Skies camping ground. The group finished with a fire engine pull from Blue Skies on WilliamsSt, Kaiapoi, downOhoka Rd, finishing atKaiapoi High School. said the driver and assistant go out of their way to make their users comfortable. On a recent appointment, they had even driven down Colombo St so they could see any rebuild progress. SERVICE USER: Dawn Lee has benefited from the St John health shuttle. Lee said she had enjoyed a tour past the Cardboard Cathedral. The service is not as well known as it should be, and while one shuttle is fine for the moment, it would be great if there were two, Lee said. With more than 30,000 kilometres on the clock, the shuttle is heading towards its second birthday in June. St John community care manager Pam Hall said it has provided 653 client trips since it started. St John Health Shuttles in the South Island are sponsored by Four Square supermarkets, and similar services have also been set up in Central Otago, Ashburton, Invercargill and Queenstown. To make a booking, contact Citizens Advice on 0800 383 373. Bookings close at 3pm on the day prior to transport.
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