Tea Gardens Free Clinic Bus to resume services after COVID19 pandemic shut down

John Verdon of Hawks Nest, volunteer driver of twenty- seven years


AFTER temporarily ceasing services on 25 February due to the COVID19 pandemic the Free Clinic Bus will resume services on 1 July.

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The decision was made to recommence operations on 15 June by the Free Clinic Bus committee and the bus will be operating in line with COVID19 restrictions.

Jan Peeters, a volunteer and wife of the committee president Ray Peeters, told News of The Area, “It will only carry two passengers at a time who will be asked a series of questions regarding health and overseas travel and the bus will be sanitised each day.”

The bus operates on Tuesdays transporting patients to Raymond Terrace and Maitland.

It also operates Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays transporting patients to Raymond Terrace and Newcastle.

Pick up can be arranged from homes in Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest, North Arm Cove, Bundabah, Pindimar and Karuah.

The service is available to all and being a pensioner is not a requirement.

Mrs Peeters told News of The Area, “The Bus is used for lots of appointments to the eye hospital as people can’t drive after appointments.”

“Also to the Mater Hospital for radio and chemo treatments.”

“Often it’s elderly people visiting a spouse who don’t drive or don’t have the confidence to drive out of the local area.”

“It can be used by people on restricted licences and people who can’t walk a long way after trying to find a parking space.”

“This is a door to door service.”

The Free Clinic Bus is a charity service that has been operating since 1985 and is funded by local organisations and clubs.

It is run entirely by volunteers.

Bookings can be made by calling 0403 657 195.


By Brooke LYNCH

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