Young Community Transport service is thriving, 30 years on from when a group of community minded people recognised the need for the service.
Young Community Transport celebrates its 30 year milestone today with management, staff, volunteers and clients looking back on three decades of assisting people to live independently.
Young Neighbourhood Centre were the instigators behind the idea with plans of providing a community service that offered affordable transport for the frail aged within Young.
After gaining recurrent funding in February 1986 the service commenced the following October with a bus rented from the local Jaycees group, utilising volunteer drivers and carers.
This allowed the frail aged and people with disabilities to access medical appointments, attend social activities and go shopping.
The service employed their first paid bus driver in 1988, and received a further boost in 1991 when HACC funding of $55,000 allowed them to purchase a new Toyota coaster bus with full wheelchair access, plus funding to increase driver hours to 21 per week.
The next milestone was in 1996 when the Community Transport Service left the auspice of the Young Neighbourhood Centre and took on it’s own identity, becoming incorporated as the Young Community Transport Service Inc.
In 1997 the service extended to surrounding villages, and also saw the update of the Toyota Coaster. To cap off a big year the service moved into the Marie McCormick Community Centre.
Come 1998 the service had 19 volunteer drivers and travelled 119,580km in the year.
They also purchased their first car.
The Toyota Coaster was again upgraded in 2004, and from November 2004 the service assisted in the running of the Cootamundra Community Transport Service for the next seven months.
Community Transport has also received awards in recognition of their service, in particular the Community Service Award for Young on Australia Day in 2005 and 2015 and was named Community Service of the Year at the NSW Community Transport Organisation Awards. It was also awarded the Community Transport Service of the Year Award at the annual conference in 2010 in recognition of exceptional service to the community.
The service has since extended it’s services to Canberra, Boorowa and Wagga, although 2016 has proven the most challenging year to date.
2016 has provided staff and volunteers with one of the most challenging years to date with the introduction of a Centralised Transport Booking System which sees the office and all the vehicles with new technology installed to register and monitor all transport provided.
The service now have a fleet consisting of four buses, one people mover and seven sedans, a staff of one full time worker, two part time workers in the office, five casual bus drivers and 62 volunteers.
This year the service has made 20,050 passenger trips, travelling in excess of 559,000kms.
Volunteers gave 12,866 hours to the community last year and saved the Government in the vicinity of $399,489.
Service manager Kellie Rolfe said a simple thank you to all those who contribute to the service does not seem enough
“I think I speak on behalf of Helen, Heather and myself when I say how inspiring and rewarding it is to work with such a committed and caring group of people,” Ms Rolfe said.
“We have come a long way and the continued success of the organization is due to the team effort of all involved.
“The contribution of everyone is equally important, our funding bodies, TFNSW, Murrumbidgee Health, our staff, volunteers and clients, as without each one we would not be enjoying the service we have today.
“While we are thankful to everyone who has been involved there are several people who stand out over the years as providing great assistance to the service and enabling us to be in the position we are today.
“Firstly, to Barry Holness who was the president of the service for 24 years and lead us from small beginnings to a successful service.
“To present CCCS Chairperson Bill Cameron and who filled Barry's big shoes when he retired and has kept us going strong along with help from all the current board of directors and CEO Stephen Fornasier.
“To Alex Codina, Regional Manager Southern Area Rural and Regional Service Delivery & Performance Infrastructure and Services TFNSW.
“The assistance you have given the service in the way of constant support and information to enable us to get our Taxi Voucher and both Canberra and Wagga Corridor Bus services up and running,” Ms Rolfe said.
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