Mercy Aged Care residents are getting back out in the community with a helping hand from Shepparton RSL.
The residents have had to rely on other forms of transport for outings since the centre’s bus was destroyed in a bus crash earlier in the year which claimed the lives of three people and injured many others.
Mercy Aged Care service manager Angela Marchant approached Shepparton RSL with an idea of the RSL loaning the centre a bus.
She said the aged care service was so grateful for the help and being able to travel again gave residents a new lease on life.
‘‘The bus is ideally suited to our use with the drop-down step and was a lot more convenient than accessing other transport services,’’ Ms Marchant said.
‘‘We are now fundraising to have our own bus and know one anonymous donor is looking to give us a good head start.’’
She said the crash had had a huge impact on staff, volunteers and residents with some unable to get back on a bus.
On Thursday, resident Angela Voutha did so for the first time since the accident for a trip to get some ice-cream.
Shepparton RSL general manager Grant Tarrant said they were more than happy to loan the bus indefinitely to Mercy Aged Care.
‘‘The courtesy bus is only really in use during weekends and events for the RSL, so outside of those hours we are happy to help,’’ Mr Tarrant said.