When it doesn’t work out …

by convenor on 18/04/2015

Flyer - Be neighbourly Dont volunteerThe hardest part of being a Facilitator is having to report that HillsCarPal can’t offer a Ride that has been requested.

This happens around one Ride in six (6) and it always is a disappointment to our clients, most of whom accept the outcome as part of how our service function. They generally see from the “a glass half-full” perspective and accept that volunteer drivers can’t always be travelling to the places they want to go, at times that they want to go there.

When the message, “It hasn’t worked out” or “No volunteer is going that way” is delivered it’s hard to sort out who is feeling it most. Facilitators invest a fair amount of time to post the original Ride Requests for our wonderful volunteer drivers to see and consider. They often answer comments from drivers seeking to respond or to offer varied pickup times or days when they would be in a position to offer the Ride.

In this process, Facilitators might contact clients a couple of times to clarify or “negotiate” travel arrangement similar to what Flight Centre Travel Consultant might do when arranging travel itineraries. They issue reminders when necessary and then call clients no later than the day before the Ride to advise the outcome achieved and confirm all the Ride details.

They build up a real rapport with their clients and want to achieve the best outcomes for them 100% of the time. They are great people with a caring heart. Saying “Yes” to their clients everytime is what they hope for. And when it’s “No” they are cut to the quick!

When things don't work out ...

Clients are faced with a change in plans when that message is delivered. They may ask to reschedule for a later time or day or cancel their appointment and re-book for later. And this often results in the client being able to get the Ride they need but on a later occasion. But it is frustrating for older people to have to deal with changes at short notice and to rearrange their diary

Some meetings are missed and long-standing appointments too but we collectively console ourselves with 5 out of 6 Ride Requests being successful and move on. Occasionally, things like that which happened to Ursula come along and we rejoice even though we didn’t make it happen.

Nonetheless, there is a lingering feeling that we would have liked to do better even when the situation wasn’t one of life and death. So we are looking for more community-minded people to join us … and to “Be neighbourly; Don’t “volunteer”

When people in our community come to understand how easy HillsCarPal make it to help a Shut-in Senior to get around, the odds will shift in their (and our wonderful Facilitators’) favour.

Even drivers in busy families can easily do it as we explain upon registration.

Girl on Slippery DipSo will you help us spread the word that everyone can be part of assisting Seniors who no longer drive to get out and about around Sydney?

Share this post, give us your feedback or tell your friends and family about us. It all helps to grow the opportunities for our elderly to live life to the full even if their bodies are telling them not to.


All my best,






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