Waikato Regional Council has approved a $200,000 Community Transport Fund for Waikato volunteer health shuttle groups. The fund will help support the many peninsula-based volunteer groups in their essential work of transporting disadvantaged people to hospitals and other health and community services. This is in addition to the $200,000 funding approved earlier for a dedicated community transport coordinator, and to establish an integrated web-based platform and 0800 number to make it easier to book a trip.
“Thames Coromandel and Hauraki is blessed with a great network of volunteer transport providers, but they do struggle with unreliable funding sources of grants, donations and fundraising initiatives, making it difficult to support the increasing ageing population,” said Denis Tegg, elected representative for Thames Coromandel on the Regional Council.
“I am delighted that Regional Council has approved this $200,000 fund which will improve community wellbeing, increase the financial sustainability of community transport groups and provide better transport options for transport disadvantaged people in rural communities.”
“The Regional Council grant will also free volunteer time and energy within these vital groups to devote to their core purpose, which is to organise and deliver volunteer-based transport services”, said Cr Tegg.
This new fund is in addition to the $200,000 approved by the council last September for a dedicated community transport coordinator, and to establish an integrated web-based platform and 0800 number to enable people to view multiple community transport options across a range of providers and choose a solution that best meets their needs.
About 180,000 people live within Waikato’s smaller towns and rural areas. But most major health, social services, employment, and education opportunities are concentrated in larger urban centres. Community transport is a way for local volunteers to help transport disadvantaged people access these services.
Thames Coromandel representative on the Waikato Regional Council
Read the Waikato Regional Council business case for this grant here –