The Australian Red Cross in regional S.A.
28 August, 2018
Transport is one of the big issues in the regional and remote areas of South Australia. Without transport people are not only physically isolated but also suffer from social isolation, loneliness or lack the ability to access community assistance such as basic food relief and medical attention. Many of these vital services are restricted to the larger centres and people struggling with cost of living problems in regional areas can find distance a huge barrier in gaining help.
The Australian Red Cross have a range of services and transport provision in regional areas that aim to benefit people isolated by distance or by circumstance to maintain their social connections and gain access to the types of services well beyond what a small town can provide.
Programs such as the Red Cross’s Medi-ride provides transport for medical appointments from small towns to bigger centres and even to Adelaide for a reasonable cost. Around $60 for a return trip to Adelaide and $7.50 for more local transport needs. These shuttles operate across the regions of South Australia and are part of the Community Transport Network listed in the Affordable SA App.
The Australian Red Cross Transport Program also helps young people with disability get to and from school and provides for special needs of people over 65 or over 50 if Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
With typical country manner all the support agencies in regional towns work in total symphony with each other often sharing office spaces and value adding with a highly collaborative approach to maximise the help provided to any one client. This close working relationship and the elimination of the transport issue means that people coming in from regional areas can have multiple appointments with several agencies before returning home which could be several hours away.
Recent issues raised on Affordable SA social media, highlighted the plight of several struggling families without transportation in Peterborough needing to access the Food Bank hub in Port Pirie. After contacting the services provided by The Australian Red Cross transport listed on the Affordable SA App, volunteers now load Food Bank fresh food hampers into vehicles used for regular service routes for the return trip to Peterborough. More volunteers deliver the packages directly to families and to other agencies in the area. Another great example of how country agencies help each other to get the job done.
Graeme Hinckley from Affordable SA spoke with Rebecca Cunningham, Regional Manager of the Australian Red Cross Northern Region to find out about the range of services the Australian Red Cross provides to help isolated residents in South Australian regional areas. Listen to the full interview about the Australian Red Cross Transport Programs and other services for regional South Australians.