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Community service on the move

Monthly Catch-Ups will see two SESCT representatives meet with clients for discussions at Poet’s Corner, Northcott Estate and the Ultimo Community Centre (details for April, May and June below). “We may have moved but we haven’t forgotten you”, said Frances Lim, Media & Communications Officer. “The Catch-Ups are about maintaining friendships. They’re about face-to-face interaction on issues regarding all our services, and there’ll be morning or afternoon tea too.”

The SESCT website makes accessing information and schedules easy. Referrals and registrations can also be made online. Monthly newsletters are available for download in English, Russian and Chinese. A documentary video, Don’t Fence Me In, traces the evolution of a practical and passionate community service, from modest beginnings in the late 1970s to multifaceted operations, centred, as always, on the provision of transport services to the frail aged, younger people with disabilities and their carers.

SESCT offers accessible and affordable transport options for social, shopping and medical trips. Subject to availability, bus hire is also possible. On Thursdays and Fridays SESCT runs two free shuttle services from Redfern to Broadway and Woolloomooloo. Village2Village is a program run in partnership with the City of Sydney. Timetables are available on the website, and brochures can be found at various hubs throughout the city.

“For many people, it’s difficult or impossible to get around the city”, said Manager Jane Rogers. “They might not live near enough to a bus station. They might not be able to access platforms at a train station – Redfern Station is a sad example. They might need a little more support than a taxi service offers. People need to get to a hospital or medical clinic, they need to socialise and do the shopping.”

Ms Rogers is grateful to various funding bodies including Home and Community Care, the Community Transport Program, as well as Ageing, Disability & Home Care and the City of Sydney. “Different types of funding come with different service criteria,” she explained. “It’s a matter of doing our best to meet our clients’ needs.”

The new premises at 579 Harris Street sees SESCT sharing suite-space with old friends, Neighbour Connections. “It’s great to be here with Neighbour Connections”, said Jasmine Enright. The Multicultural Coordinator speaks Cantonese, Mandarin and two other dialects. “I’m loving it here. It’s close to Paddy’s Markets and I can walk down to Harris Street to meet many of our clients.”

Rufina Silveira has been with SESCT since 2006. She handles individual transport bookings as well as the shopping assistance program. “I don’t always get to meet with clients,” she said, “but I really enjoy talking with people over the phone – just hearing what their concerns are and what kind of support is needed.”

Jenny Honeybrook starts work each day at 7am, ensuring that between 10 and 15 drivers, a fleet of nine buses and three cars are road ready. “Safety is the most important concern,” she said. “It’s great we now have a depot for the vehicles, and the drivers do such a wonderful job. What’s needed next is a Wash Bay!”

SESCT Monthly Catch-Ups

Ultimo Northcott Estate Our Place
Tuesday 30th April
10.30am-12pm
Thursday 25th April
10.45am-12.15pm
Monday 15th April
2-4pm
Tuesday 28th May
10.30am-12pm
Thursday 30th May
10.45am-12.15pm
Monday 20th May
2-4pm
Tuesday 25th June
10.30am-12pm
Thursday 27th June
10.45am-12.15pm
Monday 17th June
2-4pm
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