Dedicated Dungog volunteers gifted new car

Dungog Shire Palliative Care Volunteers coordinator Jennie Wilson, president Margaret Jones and transport coordinator Lyn Moseley accepting the keys to the new car from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation executive officer Jason Bourke on Monday.
Dungog Shire Palliative Care Volunteers coordinator Jennie Wilson, president Margaret Jones and transport coordinator Lyn Moseley accepting the keys to the new car from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation executive officer Jason Bourke on Monday.

After clocking up enough kilometres to drive around Australia almost 23 times, Dungog Shire Palliative Care Volunteers have a new vehicle to transport patients and they can’t wait to hit the road.

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation provided a $32,000 grant to replace the organisation’s ageing vehicle, which was limiting the daily transport service and forcing volunteers to fund trips using their own vehicles.

Dungog Shire Palliative Care Volunteers transport coordinator Lyn Moseley said there was an increasing need within the area to provide transport support for patients diagnosed with a life threatening illness.

“The transport service continues to grow each year, with more rural and isolated patients needing assistance,” Mrs Moseley said.

“Last year we provided more than 830 hours of supported transport, more than 30 per cent than the previous year.

“Thanks to Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation we’ve been able to buy a vehicle with a bigger cargo area to now transport wheelchairs, walking frames and oxygen convertors in the car which in turn relieves stress on patients and improves our service.

“Our 12 volunteer drivers are very excited to start clocking kilometres on the new vehicle.”

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Chairman Michael Slater said the transport service was part of an important support network for Dungog, Clarence Town, Vacy, and Gresford residents with a life threatening illness to access their treatments in Newcastle, Maitland and Muswellbrook.

“The Charitable Foundation is focused on supporting community infrastructure, like the Dungog Shire Palliative Care Volunteers, which help improve the lives of the people who need it most in our community, and we are very pleased to provide the funds for this vehicle.

“The Dungog community have had a tough time lately, and we hope that this funding will help make life a little easier for the volunteers and clients.”

The organisation applied for the grant in September last year with the Newcastle Permanent board meeting in February to assess all the applications.

There was $6 million in applications and they gave out $1 million.

Mrs Moseley said  the service received grant of $32,000 to purchase a Subaru Forrester 4WD station wagon and to purchase uniforms for drivers.

“The vehicle was purchased from Hunter Subaru in Maitland and we are very appreciative as despite the long timeframe from the initial enquiry to purchase, they kept the vehicle for us and honoured the original quote.

“We are also grateful to Thomas and Patricia Ladstatter owners of The Sign Place at Raworth who supported our service by providing the vehicle signage at no cost. “

The service offers free supported transport to appointments and treatments to anyone in Dungog Shire dealing with a life threatening illness.

Family is welcome to accompany the client and only one client is transported at any time.

To find out more contact coordinator Jennie Wilson on 4992 1644 or email dungogcarers@bigpond.com

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