New St John Health Shuttle Service Bringing Invercargill to Dunedin

Ian Henderson |

health shuttle help

The latest St John Health Shuttle service to serve southern communities will enable Invercargill residents to get to health-related appointments in Dunedin.

The shuttle will be based in Invercargill and will transport people to their appointments in Dunedin, making the 207km journey five times a week, Monday to Friday.

The shuttle, which is sponsored by Four Square Supermarkets, will pick up people en route in Gore and Balclutha. The shuttle will also liaise with the current shuttle services from Otautau, Winton and Northern Southland to allow passengers from those services to transfer between vehicles and travel to Dunedin if they have appointments.

The service has come about following discussion and consultation between St John, the Southern District Health Board, Primary Health Organisations and local community agencies. This identified a major need for a transport option for people to get to Dunedin from Invercargill.

Pam Hall, who is St John Community Care Manager South Island, says existing St John shuttle services in Otago and Southland have concentrated on transporting people from their local rural areas to Invercargill, Dunedin or Queenstown for their health-related appointments. These services will now link with the new service whenever practicable.

“This new shuttle service will be available for a different community need which was identified,” she says. “Increasingly, people have appointments in Dunedin, so it is important that St John responds to that and provides a service which can go some way towards meeting that need.”

St John is currently recruiting for volunteers for the shuttle, both as drivers and support staff. “We have a number of roles available. If people wish to volunteer as a driver and their application is successful then we have a full training programme for them.”

Mrs Hall says St John is very grateful to Four Square for their ongoing support of St John and the local communities in the South Island. Vehicles and setup costs are sponsored by Four Square as part of a wider sponsorship across the South Island. Other shuttle services supported by Four Square have already been set up in North and Mid Canterbury, Wakatipu and Central Otago.

Mrs Hall says, as St John is a charity and no fee is charged for the service, people are encouraged to make a donation where possible to cover the running costs of the Health Shuttle and ensure that the service remains financially sustainable.

If you have questions, or are interested in volunteering to be a St John Health Shuttle volunteer for this new Invercargill to Dunedin service, please contact Pam Hall on 03 4777 990 ext 3645 or email pam.hall@stjohn.org.nz.

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