Shelter for health shuttle
The long-awaited health shuttle garage was officially declared open for business on Thursday night.
Members of the community gathered in the new garage for refreshments, mingling and speeches.
The garage was blessed and officially opened by the Anglican Bishop of Waikato Helen-Ann Hartley.
The impressive 8.2m by 8.8m garage is the new secure home for health shuttles which transport locals to health appointments.
The project has been a community effort between the Te Awamutu Lions, Te Awamutu Community Health Transport Trust, the Anglican Church and other community groups and businesses.
Te Awamutu Community Health Transport Trust provided $20,000 to the project and the Te Awamutu Lions fundraised $23,000.
Many other local businesses and groups provided building supplies and practical help to complete the garage.
The Anglican Church provided land behind St John’s Anglican Church near George Street.
“The building fits in with our ethos to serve the community,” says Anglican reverend Murray Olson.
Waipa District Mayor Jim Mylchreest said the garage was a community asset.
“The community has gone above and beyond to help with the project.
“It will greatly benefit the lives of many people in the Waipa.”
Te Awamutu Community Health Shuttle Trust chairperson Katherine O’Regan was unable to attend the event, but was widely acknowledged for her drive and contribution to the project. Her daughter Susan O’Regan delivered her mother’s speech and accepted the garage key in her place.
The door-to-door health service was launched in March 2011 and since then the vans have been stored at volunteer’s homes. But the Te Awamutu Lions decided it was time for shuttles to be stored in a convenient, secure and central place.
They also wanted a project to celebrate 100 years of work in the community.
The health shuttle garage key was officially handed over to Kakepuku Ward Councillor Susan O’Regan (right), representing her mother Katherine O’Regan, who is Te Awamutu Community Health Shuttle Trust chairperson, by Te Awamutu Lions president John Glossop.