04 Dec 2013
By Wright Communications
The steep, winding roads into the Rimutaka Ranges had made reaching some clients a challenge, but the gift of 25 Toyota Corollas for a year is helping Access Homehealth provide care across the region.
Access's Wellington-based community nurse Tineke Snow says the Corollas have made a big difference to the services provided.
"Our clients rely on us being there to help when they need us and we work very hard to make sure they can do just that. While our old vehicles have worked hard for the organisation for a number of years, some are not as well suited to take on the more challenging roads," she says.
"That is where the new Corollas really make a big difference to both client and carer, providing reassurance that we can respond whenever and wherever we are needed. We don't have to worry about whether the car can handle the journey, the Corolla makes even the hairiest roads seem like a nice, easy drive."
Working with clients spanning from Upper Hutt to the Rimutakas and into rural Wainuiomata, Tineke has put more than 10,000km of road behind her new Corolla, and in the process has helped hundreds of clients to enjoy a better quality of life.
"The added comfort isn't just great for me on the long drives. I recently met with a client who urgently needed to see a doctor but had nobody to take him. While we usually don't transport our clients, knowing the Corolla would give him a safe, comfortable ride to the clinic gave me the peace of mind to help."
The new fleet has also seen savings for the organisation, which relies on funding from local DHBs, ACC and the Ministry of Health, thanks to fuel efficiencies. The exceptional economy of the Corolla means Access is able to put more money towards the important stuff, says Tineke, such as continued improvements to the service its clients receive.
Alongside long-term partnerships with organisations like The Parenting Place and GrassRoots Rugby, Toyota helps partially or fully self-funded community organisations deliver their services into local communities - often by providing the use of new vehicles.
Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales and Operations Steve Prangnell says this is recognition of the number of organisations doing great work in Kiwi communities.
"New Zealand is full of great charities and not for profits like Access that devote their time to improving quality of life for many Kiwis. Unfortunately, these organisations don't always have the resources they need, so we're doing our part to lend a hand by providing cars that make their job easier."
Access Homehealth chief executive Graeme Titcombe says the cars are a welcome enhancement for his fleet.
"Having a modern, reliable fleet is essential in ensuring our nurses can carry out their role of helping people live independently in their communities.
"Our vehicles clock up a reasonably high mileage over a short time. To be able to replace many of them with these not only very smart looking, but also economical vehicles, is a real bonus for us."
Access provides home care to around 14,000 sick, disabled, palliative and injured New Zealanders each year.
"In a job with few perks, small improvements matter and are the things that can make or break a working day," says Tineke.
"That's the work car sorted - now if only I could get something as nice for my use at home!" she says.
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