Recently, Larry Reid, Chairperson of the Random Age-Friendly Communities organization, the governing board for Clarenville Region Extended Seniors’ Transportation (CREST) met with the Town of Clarenville to update councillors on the seniors’ transportation initiative which has been ongoing for over four years.
In his presentation, Reid provided the town with up-to-date statistics on CREST operations.
Over the past four and a half years, CREST has served more than 9,500 people in Clarenville and 11 neighbouring communities.
Older men and women and those with mobility issues have been provided with affordable and reliable transportation for outings such as visiting friends or family; going for lunch; medical, banking, and hairdressing appointments; walking at the Events Centre; social activities; shopping; etc.
In addition to providing a service to residents for their day-to-day activities, CREST has also provided transportation to a number of groups on evenings and weekends.
These excursions are provided on a cost-recovery basis and take place based on the availability of a volunteer driver.
Some examples of CREST excursions include: St. Mary’s Anglican church parishioners attended a church service in Burgoyne’s Cove; retired nurses took a trip to Bonavista; Special Olympics team went to Grand Falls-Windsor; Clarenville Royal Canadian Legion members attended a meeting in Lethbridge; Clarenville Lions Club enjoyed a Lions’ social on Random Island; a group of seniors visited Glovertown; Hillview 50+ Club took a day trip to Clarenville; Twin Town 50+ Club made a visit to Bonavista; Clarenville Retirement Centre residents went to Tim Horton’s for coffee; United Church Women’s League experienced an outing in Bonavista.
Some individuals have also benefited on evenings and weekends. For example, wheelchair-bound grandparents were able to attend their grandchildren’s weddings, and wheelchair-bound customers have gone to Bingo and attended Caribous hockey games. Others have gone to the Tai Hong restaurant for a birthday celebration.
CREST has also offered free transportation for residents over the age of 60 and people with mobility issues to civic activities and events such as July 1st celebrations, CREST Volunteer Appreciation ceremony, Santa Claus Parade, Remembrance Day Parade, and Arts under the Stars.
Transportation for CNA students to collect food for the local food bank on Halloween was also made available by CREST.
For the past two years, CREST has taken a local Scout group Mummering at Christmas time.
Reid ended his presentation by saying CREST is definitely responding to the needs of the people living in the communities it serves and that all of this has been made possible with the strong support from CREST’s 82 volunteers who have given over 50,000 hours of their time, a tremendous accomplishment. This type of commitment is unwavering.
He also stated the life-changing opportunities that CREST provides its seniors and people with mobility issues would not be possible without the continued financial support of partners – Bell Aliant Pioneers, Clarenville Lions Club, Co-op 50/50, Oddfellows, Rotary, and Royal Canadian Legion.
CREST is definitely making a difference, right here, right now.