Hospital’s new e-car powered by volunteers

The five Rotary Clubs of the Hastings have joined forces to fund a new patient/visitor transport vehicle at Port Macquarie Base Hospital.

The clubs, which also work together to deliver accommodation services near the hospital through Rotary Lodge, contributed $15,661 towards a new electric car for the site. Port Macquarie CWA also donated $1000 which was matched by the Port Macquarie Pink Ladies.

The new vehicle, a fully enclosed e-car, replaces the Pink Ladies’ old Pink Buggy.

The environmentally friendly vehicle provides an essential service at the hospital – transporting patients and visitors, many of whom are elderly or have a disability, from the far reaches of car park to the front door of the hospital.

The Rotary clubs of Port Macquarie, Port Macquarie Sunrise, Port Macquarie West, Laurieton and Wauchope each contributed funds to ensure the Pink Buggy, which has served hospital visitors for almost five years, was replaced by a comfortable, all-weather vehicle.

Port Macquarie Rotary Club’s Community Services Director Ray White, who pitched the idea to his fellow Rotarians, said it didn’t take long for everyone to “jump on board”.

“The old buggy needed replacing and it’s pretty obvious that the transport service is much needed and greatly appreciated,” Mr White said.

“Our clubs work together on important community projects, such as Rotary Lodge and the Towers of Strength lifeguard platforms. The end projects are evidence of how well we do work together.

“The e-car will be a wonderful community asset at the base hospital, making it much easier for patients and visitors to move between the carpark and the hospital.”

Pink Ladies President Gabby Gregory thanked the Rotary clubs for their generosity, as well as the Port Macquarie branch of the CWA.

“We wouldn’t have been able to replace the Pink Buggy on our own,” Mrs Gregory said.

“It’s fantastic that in this community there is always someone willing to help make the improbable possible.

“Our volunteer drivers get a lot of pleasure helping patients and visitors to the main hospital, the cancer unit and Rotary Lodge, and then back to their vehicles wherever they are parked on site.

“We can continue to provide this vital service, thanks to Rotary and the CWA, in a modern, safe, reliable electric car which has already been named The Pink Mobile.

“It’s a wonderful testimony to the strength of community here in the Hastings,” Mrs Gregory said.