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Random Age Friendly: CREST volunteers appreciated

Booking volunteers discuss duties and offer suggestions and recommendations to CREST booking chairperson, Pat Osmond.
Booking volunteers discuss duties and offer suggestions and recommendations to CREST booking chairperson, Pat Osmond. - Contributed

Bus service possible with 85 helpers

After four and a half years in operation, the Random Age-Friendly Communities board, the governing body for Clarenville Region Extended Seniors’ Transportation (CREST) is amazed that they still have 85 dedicated volunteers running this invaluable service for seniors and those with mobility issues. 

To thank them for their tremendous commitment and dedication, the board held an appreciation event at the Royal Canadian Legion in Clarenville on Nov. 2.

Clarenville Mayor Frazer Russell thanked all the volunteers on behalf of the town and the people who use the service. He said Clarenville is proud to have this unique service, the only one of its kind in the province.

Larry Reid, chairperson of the Random Age-Friendly Communities board, provided an overview of the CREST project which started its first run on July 14, 2014. 

To date, approximately 8,400 riders have been served and 25 per cent of those riders use mobility devices.

CREST has approximately 85 volunteers who have given more than 46,720 volunteer hours over the past four and a half years.

Reid thanked all the volunteers and ended by saying that it is commendable what they have given.

“Not enough can be said to thank you for all your time and effort,” he said.

The volunteers then broke into their respective groups — drivers, assistants and booking for a discussion on their duties.

The drivers session was led by Dennis Squires and Rod Nicholl. Leo Bonnell, vice-chairperson and chairperson for the assistants ran the assistants group. Pat Osmond, booking chairperson, headed up the booking group.

Following the discussions each group shared its findings with the whole group. 

All groups felt the session was worthwhile and informative, suggesting it is important to have sessions like this periodically.

It provides each group an opportunity to share ideas with the other groups and offer any suggestions they might have for improvement on how they can all continue to work together efficiently and effectively.

To end the session and thank the volunteers for their efforts, they were presented with jackets bearing the CREST logo to wear proudly to promote this excellent service.

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