Enhancing community connection among seniors.
Mirboo North’s dedicated volunteer community bus service provides important social connection and accessible transportation for senior citizens in Mirboo North.
The bus is used regularly by the Mirboo North Senior Citizens Club, who organise regular shopping trips to Midvalley Shopping Centre in Morwell.
“The bus service is very unique as it can pick residents up directly from home, providing residents with an opportunity to go to some local shopping and have some lunch together afterwards,” said Margaret Peters, regular user of the service.
“You’d be hard pressed to find another service that provides a kerbside service, it helps those who are not quite as able as others to continue to be independent. If we didn’t have this service, many residents would have to rely solely on family and friends for transport.”
Margaret says that the bus enables older citizens to keep up with friends and adds a little bit of adventure into their lives.
“The senior citizens club organises community lunches in the area, recently we went to Meeniyan to visit Trulli Pizza and one person told me that it was the first pizza they had ever tasted! It was a lovely day out for us all and it helps us have ongoing involvement in the community.”
Volunteer bus driver and organiser Di Kiddell says she enjoys driving the bus immensely, and loves the friendships she has made with older citizens by driving residents around.
“One of my favourite outings was when we went to the local Prom Cheese in South Gippsland, with cheese tastings and lunch. Many of the people I do drive become friends, because sometimes we need to help people in and out of the vehicle and collect them from home, its a really personal service,” said Di.
Di said that the bus service gets really busy during Seniors Week, with her organising up to four volunteer drivers to drop and collect people to different events around the area, including a Seniors Week concert in Korumburra.
“The service also provided an all day shuttle bus to the Italian Festa earlier in the year, where five drivers drove a circuit to help local people get to the event,” concluded Di, who says the service was much valued by everyone who used it on the day.
The service is also widely used in the community by people of all ages. It’s used by the local schools, netball and football clubs, organisations such as Leongatha Probus and Boolarra Garden Club as well being booked for private events.
“I think there would be a definite gap if Mirboo North lost this service. It provides an affordable transport solution to so many people in the district,” Di concluded.