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Clarifying St John’s community care role

Recently appointed as the new Wairarapa community engagement coordinator for the St John ambulance service charity, Rosemary Julou is understandably eager to shine a light on the community work done by St John in the area.

“Hato Hone St John volunteers have been established in Wairarapa for over 100 years,” she said.

“It has been so inspiring to see first-hand the work they do.

“This includes running our health shuttles and retail stores.”

Julou is at pains to emphasise that while St John provides community services in the region, they do not operate emergency ambulances as seen in other parts of the country.

“We have a unique situation in Wairarapa, with Wellington Free Ambulance providing emergency ambulance services,” she said.

“This means that Hato Hone St John can focus exclusively on community health services in the area, which aim to help provide better access to health care, and ultimately reduce the need for urgent care services.

“Wellington Free Ambulance provide the frontline paramedics who respond to emergency calls to 111; whereas Hato Hone St John can assist with community health access – including getting you to your appointments and checking on your wellbeing.”

The St John health shuttle service in the region now boasts a total of four shuttles based in Masterton and Greytown.

“The team driving the shuttles is made up of 25 volunteer drivers who are first aid trained and undertake regular training and support,” Julou said.

“Health shuttles take clients to any health or wellbeing appointment, including physiotherapy, optician, chiropractor, day surgery, podiatry, counselling, or a GP appointment.

“Besides the health shuttle, St John has a team of caring callers available as friends to chat with you and offer support.”

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