Warwick Credit Union CEO Lewis von Stieglitz and Akooramak CEO Darryl Chapman sit in the old bus.
Warwick Credit Union CEO Lewis von Stieglitz and Akooramak CEO Darryl Chapman sit in the old bus. Emma Channon

Aged home to pension off bus

IT HAS been a treasured item for many years but the Akooramak bus is starting to show its age.

The paint has started to fade, the chairs have lost their spring and the engine is less reliable.

But the Akooramak bus is a vital instrument for the aged care home, giving freedom and a source of pleasure to residents and, thankfully, the Warwick Credit Union has promised to help fund a new vehicle.

Thanks to the Warwick Credit Union Foundation, Akooramak is set to receive a $25,000 grant, which will go a long way towards buying a new bus.

WCU CEO Lewis von Stieglitz said lending the support meant a great deal for the firm.

“We're pretty keen on the idea,” he said.

“(The bus) is such a great way for the Akooramak people to get out and about – especially those who find it difficult to travel around.

“Myself and the two directors of the foundation – Ross Fraser and Nick Gardner – can see it does so much for the people.”

Each year the bus chauffeurs Akooramak residents to Jumpers and Jazz, rodeo and Seniors Week events, Christmas lights tours and other activities.

The grant from the credit union will help replace the 1987 Nissan bus with a well-conditioned second-hand vehicle.

Akooramak CEO Darryl Chapman said he hoped to have the replacement bus by November.

“We're just waiting on a few things – you wouldn't believe it but the tsunami in Japan has held things up a bit,” he said.

“The person we're getting the bus from is waiting for their new vehicle to arrive but production out of Japan has slowed.”

Mr Chapman said he was thankful for such a generous donation.

“It will just be a fantastic help for us,” he said.

“For some of the residents, particularly with some of the dementia care people, the bus is the only outing they get.

“At times the bus runs virtually all day ferrying people back and forth.”

There are two registered bus drivers at Akooramak and many other volunteers ready to be on hand to help co-ordinate trips.

Mr Chapman said the replacement bus would cost Akooramak about $55,000.



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