De­pot clos­ing

Ser­vices con­sol­i­dated at or­ga­ni­za­tion’s Syd­ney lo­ca­tion

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVID JALA david.jala@cb­post.com

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

DAVID JALA/CAPE BRE­TON POST

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.

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