Services consolidated at organization’s Sydney location
Red Cross closing Glace Bay depot; services consolidated at Sydney location.
The Canadian Red Cross is shutting down a satellite program in Glace Bay that offers short-term loans of health and home-care aids.
The supply depot, which has operated out of a room in the Glace Bay Citizens Service League building on Commercial Street, will be consolidated at the society’s Sydney location on Upper Prince Street.
The organization’s Atlantic region communications director Dan Bedell said the Glace Bay program’s low numbers could not justify keeping the volunteer-run initiative afloat.
“It loaned out 184 items over the course of the last year and that’s not a lot — with the office in Sydney being so close this was really the only example of two locations being that close to each other,” he said.
Bedell said the move is not a cost-cutting measure, nor will it result in lost jobs as the Glace Bay depot has been operated by volunteers who do plenty of other work with the Citizens Service League.
“Our program was a service operated by those volunteers over and above all of the other things they do — the other thing is the accreditation issue,” said Bedell, who explained that the organization is slowly moving toward having all of its programs and services officially recognized by Accreditation Canada.
“To expect two or three volunteers from that group in Glace Bay to assume responsibility for that over and above all the other day- to- day services they are providing there would be a bit much.”
Bedell said while he realizes the consolidation might inconvenience some people, the Red Cross will ensure that clients will get what they need one way or another.
Officially known as the health equipment loan program and services, the initiative offers loans of up to three months for items such as wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, commodes and bath-transfer seats.
The loans are free, but require a written recommendation from a doctor or other health-care provider. The majority of the cost is covered by donations.
The program is also offered in seven other Nova Scotia locations — Antigonish, Truro, Amherst, Dartmouth, Bridgewater, Kentville and Yarmouth.
“To expect two or three volunteers from that group in Glace Bay to assume responsibility for that over and above all the other day- to- day services they are providing there would be a bit much.” Dan Bedell, Atlantic region communications director
The Canadian Red Cross Sydney building on Upper Prince Street is the only location of the organization’s health equipment loan program in the area now that the society has closed down its volunteer-run Glace Bay depot.