Red Cross open a community office

In a boost for the elderly and disabled, Red Cross South Australia have officially opened a local office based in the One Stop Shopping Centre.

Red Cross held the opening ceremony last week, with representatives from the organisation attending as well as local volunteers and Mayor Lyn Breuer.

Director Mark Groote said the transport provided by Red Cross would be a key service for many in the community.

“We will provide transport services for elderly people in the community who need to get to medical or social appointments and can’t get there any other way,” he said.

“We’ll also be providing Telecross services where we ring people every morning to make sure they’re OK. We’ll be talking to them everyday just to make sure they’re safe.”

The office in One Stop provides Red Cross with a more private location to conduct Telecross phone calls, while also reaching out to the local community.

“We spent a lot of time speaking to local services and we found that people were looking for affordable point to point transport,” Mr Groote said.

Whyalla Office Regional Manager Shelley Jonker said those using the transportation service could travel anywhere in Whyalla for just $5.

“Elderly people who may be socially isolated can easily get into a rut. I think it’s really important that we provide this transport opportunity for them,” she said.

“We’re also going to have some knitting clubs and cooking clubs so we can get people out and about. We can transport them to that service, and they can share that transportation as well.

“If there were three people using the transport then they share that $5, which is really economical.”

Another helpful program Red Cross offers in Whyalla is Food Ready.

“That focuses on preparing food, such as how to make pickled onions. It helps foster a sense of social inclusion for those participating,” Ms Jonker said.

Red Cross Australia is a leading humanitarian aid and community services charity.