Villages need extra drivers

June 14, 2017

Tarcoola residents Elaine Mountjoy, Edith Poliness, Betty Bryant, Vera Wallace and Edna Stedman.

Shepparton Villages is looking for new volunteers to drive its bus for its independent living residents on monthly outings.

Tarcoola resident and secretary-treasurer of the Tarcoola support group Edith Poliness said the villages had experienced a decline in bus drivers recently.

‘‘A lot of our drivers are now over 80 and have had to retire, so we are desperately seeking a new bunch to take over from where they have left off,’’ Ms Poliness said.

Once a month, residents of the villages’ three aged-care facilities are taken to an outing to locations that, in the past, have included Echuca, Violet Town market, Tatura, Nagambie, Seymour and Benalla art gallery.

Interested people would have to volunteer their time from about 9am to 5pm on Saturdays and, with enough volunteers, would only have to volunteer once every few months.

Ms Poliness, who drives the bus on an outing every other month, said ideally the villages would like an additional six volunteers.

‘‘I just absolutely love doing it, I love working with old people and just to see the joy on their faces when we do the trips,’’ she said.

‘‘I get as much out of it as they do.’’

Ms Poliness said the outings were an opportunity for the residents to get out and interact with other people.

‘‘Mostly all the residents who go on these trips don’t have cars, so they are glad to have a day out on the bus to go to different locations,’’ she said.

Anyone who would like more information on volunteering as a bus driver or any other capacity at Shepparton Villages should phone its office on 58320800.

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