Bunbury Community Transport volunteer driven to support those in need after Seniors Expo
- St John WA (SJWA) Community Transport Volunteer Judy Bone dedicates her time to helping vulnerable community members in the South West travel to their medical appointments safely.
- The Community Transport Service in Bunbury is delivered by up to 10 volunteer drivers.
- Volunteer drivers are given first aid training and the use of a first aid-equipped vehicle to drive clients and their carers or companions hundreds of kilometres given public transport is not always an option.
For St John WA (SJWA) Community Transport Volunteer Judy Bone, driving people in need to their medical appointments was a passion instilled by her mother.
“When I saw it advertised at a Seniors Expo that St John WA were needing drivers, I knew that this is something I would really enjoy doing,” Judy said.
“Coming from a small country town where my mum used to help out elderly people, I guess it is in my blood to want to help.”
Judy signed on as a Community Transport Service (CTS) driver based in Bunbury and since April has driven ageing residents and people living with moderate disability as far as Perth, as well as taking jobs in Margaret River.
Judy said she loved knowing she was reducing stress in their lives by delivering them safely to where they needed to go.
“It is a lot of driving but many of the clients don’t have anyone to talk to or help them out, so it is very rewarding to be able to assist them,” she said.
SJWA’s unique community service provides ambulant passengers who can self-transfer in and out of a sedan vehicle without assistance with access to safe, affordable and reliable transport to hospital and specialist appointments, which extends to their carer or companion for no additional charge.
CTS was established in Bunbury in 2018 and expanded thanks to a partnership between St John Giving and HIF, with the service benefiting regional communities across the South West and expanding to the Goldfields, Wheatbelt and Great Southern.
SJWA Chief Emergency Officer Brendon Brodie-Hall commended Judy on her selfless dedication to making a difference to her local community.
“Volunteers like Judy are the foundation of St John and play an integral role in building robust regional communities by responding to and supporting people in need,” he said.
“St John’s Community Transport Service is part of our broader commitment to connecting isolated members of the WA community to vital healthcare services, established because we know that many people in regional communities cannot always use public transport to get to their appointments or activities.
“In Bunbury, our network of dedicated volunteers makes this valuable local service possible.”
CTS volunteers have first aid training and drive clients in a specialty vehicle equipped with an automated defibrillator and first aid kits.
Judy said she was proud to volunteer with SJWA and be part of a hardworking team delivering such a positive impact in the community.
“It is a good feeling to put on the green uniform, as people really respect the work that St John does in the community,” she said.
“I love being part of such a supportive and appreciative team – there is always someone calling to check in on drivers after a long drive and the care I get is reassuring.”
Judy encouraged anyone who enjoyed helping others to consider becoming a CTS volunteer.
“Giving is so nice and volunteering is the perfect opportunity to gain purpose in your life,” she said.
Anyone interested in volunteering can find out more at: stjohnwa.com.au/changelives/volunteer/regional/community-transport-volunteer To book a CTS vehicle visit: stjohnwa.com.au/ambulance-and-health-services/transport-services