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NSW SES Randwick Unit have partnered with Randwick Waverley Community Transport Service to launch an exciting new initiative to connect with the local community and build resilience. Community Transport drivers from the Randwick-Waverley branch have become ambassadors for NSW SES, acting as a conduit to provide information from NSW SES to clients of the transport service. Many of the transport clients are elderly, frail or are living with a disability. “A personal touch, a friendly chat, can make all the difference in getting our message across” said Regina Böhler, Community Capability Coordinator at NSW SES Randwick Unit. “We have a diverse community, so it’s important we use a variety of ways beyond social media to reach out and connect” she said. The idea came about after Regina, who works as a casual driver for the Randwick-Waverley Community Transport Service, recognised that several clients of the service had also been assisted by the NSW SES. “About three months into my job as a driver, I was sent to an address in Coogee to collect an elderly couple and take them to a medical appointment. “To my surprise I found that I had met the couple who are in their nineties a few years before, having attended an SES job at their house. “As I recalled the husband was apologetic for calling the SES saying he found it difficult nowadays to climb up a ladder or he would have fixed the roof himself. We were all impressed that at his age he would still contemplate climbing into a roof space to fix a leaking tile and were only glad to assist. “So here I was now meeting them again albeit in a different capacity. It gave me a real sense of community and the couple were delighted to find I had been part of the SES crew that helped stop water leaking into their living room. “I find it immensely rewarding to live in a community that looks after people in need, be it help with transport or having a leaking roof fixed.” Regina said. With the generous support of Ben Whitehorn, Manager of Randwick Waverley Community Transport, a partnership between the NSW SES Randwick unit and Randwick-Waverley Community Transport was launched. Drivers were recruited after Regina, in her capacity as the Community Capability Co-ordinator, spoke at a staff meeting about the SES and the assistance available to clients of the transport service. “My colleagues are a fantastic bunch and very community minded. They jumped at the opportunity to chat to our clients about the SES and provide them with information. The feedback from both drivers and clients so far has been incredibly positive.” Randwick-Waverley Community Transport provides an invaluable and much needed service in the Eastern Suburbs. The clients have nothing but praise for the drivers. Their professionalism and community minded spirit makes them ideal ambassadors for the NSW SES. “A big thank you to my lovely colleagues of the Randwick-Waverley Community Transport service for helping me get this of the ground. Thank you also to Wolf Villalta my fellow SES Volunteer for assisting me in handing out SES information kits to the drivers,” said Regina. The partnership with Community Transport helps the unit to build community resilience in the local area. With the ongoing support of Ben Whitehorn, General Manager of the Randwick-Waverley Community Transport Service, and Dorothy Tran, NSW SES Community Capability Officer – Metro Zone, plans are in progress to possibly extend the initiative throughout NSW.