Iron­side hav­ing prac­tice run for 50th

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - KRIS BOULT

Iron­side Ve­hi­cle So­ci­ety is cel­e­brat­ing its 40th an­niver­sary in Au­gust and has plans for many more.

A small group of staff, vol­un­teers and friends of the so­ci­ety will all be mark­ing the oc­ca­sion with an af­ter­noon tea at the Waimea Bowl­ing club, New Ply­mouth on Au­gust 19 to mark the oc­ca­sion

‘‘We’re keep­ing this 40th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion fairly low key but we’re re­ally look­ing for­ward to the 50th,’’ Keith Piper, vol­un­teer man­ager and trea­surer said.

Piper also wanted to re­as­sure peo­ple that de­spite what they may have heard they were not clos­ing and were in fact plan­ning on con­tin­u­ing for a long while yet.

Iron­side pro­vides a safe and re­li­able door-to-door trans­port ser­vice to a va­ri­ety of peo­ple who are all trans­port dis­ad­van­taged.

‘‘You don’t nec­es­sar­ily need to be in a wheel­chair to use our ser­vices,’’ Piper said.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple see the vans out and about and don’t re­alise they are el­i­gi­ble to use the ser­vice,’’ for­mer pres­i­dent of 20 years Max Reesby said.

Trans­port is also avail­able to the elderly or peo­ple who may be men­tally or phys­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged in North­ern and Cen­tral Taranaki.

‘‘Iron­side is ab­so­lutely unique. There is no other ser­vice like ours in New Zealand,’’ Reesby said.

The ser­vice, which started from hum­ble be­gin­nings with only one van and one driver, now has a team of seven ve­hi­cles with three full time and seven vol­un­teer driv­ers who are all trained to deal with most med­i­cal is­sues.

Piper said peo­ple who in­tend to use the ser­vice must pre-book but that there was no limit to the jobs they would do.

‘‘We just do what the customer wants and is prac­ti­cal for them,’’

‘‘It just gives peo­ple a chance to get out and about and do stuff about town,’’ he said.

Iron­side are a not for profit or­gan­i­sa­tion but does re­ceive fund­ing from the TSB Bank, which has been with them since the be­gin­ning.

Other sup­port­ers are the Lot­ter­ies Com­mis­sion and Lions clubs through­out Taranak. Of course there are also in­di­vid­ual dona­tions.

‘‘Any funds we make from the ser­vice go straight back into the up­keep and main­te­nance of the ve­hi­cles,’’ Reesby said.

ANDY JACK­SON/ STUFF

Iron­side Ve­hi­cle So­ci­ety cel­e­brate 40 years of ser­vice in the com­mu­nity in Au­gust. Driver Elaine Tun­stall has worked 20 of those years.

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