After 20 years of volunteering as a bus driver, Hills local Roly Broady has handed in his keys (several of them).
The fact that Roly held a Light Rigid licence which he kept up after retiring as a mechanic has been an absolute life-changer for groups and individuals who Roly has driven around the Hills and beyond.
Hills Community Aid has benefited from his volunteering spirit. When he started driving their then “new” HCA bus it had 200kms on the clock. When he handed in his keys earlier this month (April 14th) it had 465,830kms on the clock.
He was farewelled by the three other volunteer bus drivers that have been donating their time to driving the HCA Community Bus, Kevin Arthur, Terry Donoghue and Norm Scott (pictured).
Executive Officer at HCA Mici Beer said the drivers were a valued part of Hills Community Aid and Learning in the Hills team and they needed at least 3 more volunteers able to drive the manual bus. “Volunteers can drive as much or as little as they want. We can’t put on any more social groups without more drivers and if we don’t get more drivers we may not be able to commit to the groups we have,” she said.
At the moment volunteers drive the community bus for several groups including Hills Friendship club and several weekday travel groups.
“These groups provide social opportunities for the community … it is important for people to remain connected,” said Mici.
Robin Slattery runs the Baulkham Hills Monday Group and says Kevin, their driver, is very much part of their group. She says for many of their 20 members, the Monday outing is the one time they get to go out.
“For some it is the only time they meet with other human beings,” she said. “Without our driver, there would be quite a few very unhappy people. You get on the bus and everyone is catching up, people talk almost the whole way.
“Roly started volunteering after he retired because he said “he was looking for something to do”. A retired mechanic, he also volunteered as a driver with Anglicare. He still volunteers with Friends of Fagan Park’s Netherby House fixing the tractors.
Now 85, he decided not to renew his Light Rigid licence but said he has enjoyed meeting different people and going to different places driving the HCA Community Bus.
If you would like to hear more about the opportunity to help, call 9639 8620 (9.30am to 3pm) or email [email protected]. There is also a volunteer application form on Hills Community Aid website hca.org.au.