Volunteers in the spotlight

By Community Transport Services Tasmania (CTST)

WE recently caught up with retiree and CTST volunteer driver Robbie Rockliff to talk about volunteering.

Robbie was recently named CTST’s north-west coast ‘Volunteer of the Year’ for his work driving with CTST for the past three-and-a-half years.

Mr Rockliff started with CTST after deciding to hand over the reins of his trucking business to his son.

“After 54-years of driving trucks, it was time to move on,” he said.

“I still help out in the workshop occasionally, doing a small amount of maintenance work on the vehicles, but it’s my son’s time now.”

After retirement, Mr Rockliff came to the realisation that “there’s only so many times you can mow the lawn.”

So he looked around for some opportunities to volunteer and said he “liked the look of CTST.”

“Being a business owner, I looked into a few options and realised pretty quickly that I liked the way CTST do business,” Mr Rockliff said.

What makes Mr Rockliff such a terrific asset to the CTST team is his open and friendly manner, dedication to the community and knowledge of the roads around Tasmania.

He knows his way in and out of places that even Google Earth can’t find from his time delivering fine Tasmanian produce throughout the state.

Over the years, his greatest satisfaction has come from knowing that he can help out his fellow Tasmanians.

Be it a doctor’s appointment, haircut or a social outing, Mr Rockliff knows that sometimes a trip in a CTST vehicle is the only time the passenger has left the house in the past week.

“When you get to talk to the clients and you understand what it means to them, it makes it all worthwhile,” he said.

CTST provides door-to-door transport services for Tasmanians aged more than 65-years who are deemed isolated or at risk of being isolated and those who are disadvantaged and unable to access transport.

Clients are driven door-to-door by a volunteer driver and pay a nominal fee to go towards recovering expenses such as fuel and vehicle maintenance.

CTST have recently expanded its offering to include social outings that run throughout the state from Circular Head to Huonville and everywhere in between.

The not-for-profit organisation is funded by the Federal and State governments to enable independence and social inclusion for the over-65s and for people with a disability.

For more information or to become a driver with CTST, phone 1800 781 033 or visit www.ctst.org.au.