Friday, July 1, 2022
HomeNewsLocalsCatch-up and a cuppa refuels community

Catch-up and a cuppa refuels community

Staff members Frances Lim, Blake Kegg and Jasmine Enright, assisted by volunteer Julie Zhang, hosted the two-hour event, an informal and friendly gathering. “It’s good to see you!” Blake exclaimed. The response was warm and enthusiastic. Queenie, Olive, Barbara and Dorothy were unanimous in their praise of a community organisation whose services they regard as “reliable” and “essential”. There were hot cups of tea and coffee, and hot topics for table conversations – in English, Cantonese, Mandarin and Russian.

New SESCT business cards and brochures were handed out, emblazoned with a new phone number: 8241 8000.

A May newsletter was distributed with up-to-date information about services such as the Blink Service “for clients who need only a quick one-hour shop at Eastlakes”. Members were invited to suggest new routes and services, including door-to-door services to shopping centres and individual transport to and from the local doctor and hospital, social outings to the library, hairdresser and movies.

The Village2Village free shuttle bus operates on Thursdays and Fridays from Woolloomooloo to Redfern (the “purple” service), and Redfern to Broadway (the “green” service). Having received additional funding from the City of Sydney, SESCT will launch two new V2V services in July/August. This is an initiative to comprehensively cover the City of Sydney Council area and aims to “connect the missing dots between public transport links”. Residents who use the green or purple service will be able to transfer to the new V2V services at a certain meeting point along the route.

A draft timetable was handed out for the new orange service that will run on the same days as the green and purple. The service, for residents living in Redfern, Green Square, Alexandria, Erskineville and Newtown, will start from Redfern and end up at Broadway. It will differ from the green V2V by going via Alexandria and Erskineville. Some important stops will include: Aldi on Dank Street; Green Square Station; Erskineville Station; and Dendy Cinemas, King Street. Frances explained: “As we are still in the drafting process, we thought it would be a good idea to hand it out to some of the residents and gather some feedback on the route and timetable.”

One long-term participant said: “I’m so grateful for [SESCT]. The staff really listen, whether it’s about a new route via Bunnings or Green Square Station, or help with things like safe removal of needles in the hallway or laundry. I only have high praise for [the staff]. If they can’t make a booking for you they can usually offer a taxi voucher.”

Dina and Borris look forward to Russian community excursions each month. “Jasmine organises something different every time,” Dina said. “We’re going to the Nan Tien Temple in Wollongong next month.” Previous excursions have been to Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and to mandarin and apple farms. “They are very decent excursions, from early morning to 3.30 in the afternoon,” Borris said. “We have a Russian dinner once a month, too.”

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