By Joshua Wells
A NEW community bus will be available to members of the community in Whittlesea which will aim to assist 80 local volunteers in their program delivery.
Whittlesea Community House manager Mary-Lynn Griffith was ecstatic last week when announcing the purchase of a new $35,000 bus with community matched funds allowing them to nab the vehicle.
After the Whittlesea Bowls Club matched the federal Stronger Communities Grant, the Whittlesea Community House chipped in the final $5000 to make the bus a reality.
“We need a community vehicle to support our volunteer drivers in the Whittlesea Area Community Care and Assistance program, while also looking to support community groups,” Ms Griffith said.
“It is also for our groups in the house and some groups hire the bus too… we got to a point where we needed a bigger vehicle and to buy it because leasing was costing too much.
“We are very lucky to have the support of the Whittlesea Bowls Club… we have about 80 volunteers in the house and this will make our program delivery all the more achievable.”
Whittlesea Bowls Club chairman of directors Geoff Aldous said helping the local community was what his club was all about.
“We are pleased to put some money back into the local community,” he said.
“We feel it should be in kind and this is worthy organisation and we are happy to help.”
Federal Member for McEwen Rob Mitchell said the bus was an easy choice for the government because it was a community effort.
“We knew the need for a bigger bus in Whittlesea was growing with more and more people needing access,” he said.
“The Stronger Communities Grants gives us money to spread across the region to help… it is matching funds and the bowls club have helped.
“They are always helping people and that is the strength of this grant. It was a community need and the community has come on board… they stepped up and grabbed it.
“This was a highly competitive round but this was an easy one to fund.”