During lockdown the NSW Government has provided guidelines around what essential services are. As an NFP(Not-for-Profit) Community transport service provider, Stryder is just that - an essential service that continues to help those in need.
Stryder's purpose is to provide accessible transport to people that have specific transport needs relating to their age, location, frailty or disability.
The feedback from clients, their families and the wider community has been appreciation that Stryder can still provide a vital link between clients and their ongoing medical appointments, COVID and flu vaccination appointments, and more.
According to a McCrindle Research report titled Australian Communities Report: Understanding Australian givers to maximise the impact of NFPs written by Sophie Renton, the perception of the services provided by NFPs is extremely positive.
The report states
"Australian givers are not just proud of Australian charities/not-for-profits but appreciate them more too. More than four in five givers (85%) believe the events of 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have made them appreciate the role charities/not-for-profits play in society more. The pandemic has also shone a light on needs within the community, with 80% of givers more aware of the needs in their community since COVID-19. The increased national focus of 2020 has also meant that 76% of givers are more intentional about supporting charities/ not-for-profits that operate locally because of the COVID-19 pandemic."
Stryder's challenges during lockdown
As an essential service provider, the fact that Stryder's drivers are still out in the community comes with some risks and challenges.
Although the trip requests have decreased, Stryder's drivers are still providing vital transport services and assistance.
Geared up with personal protective equipment and following strict COVID safety protocols, the drivers also ensure that the vehicle is sanitised between each passenger.
Q&A with Stryder driver, Stephen Latham
Q: What do you find the most challenging during this time?
A: Unable to connect with our Stryder clients due to COVID-19 cancelling our community outings, among other things.
During this lockdown when taking clients to medical or vaccination appointments, I hear things like "You are the first human I've spoken to for two weeks," and, "Sorry I'm talking so much but I haven't had the opportunity for a while." So the connection with our clients is currently broken and it worries me how many are doing it tough, alone and isolated.
Q. What do you find most fulfilling?
A. Stryder being there for our clients when they need us. There is still a need for medical and rehab appointments and we can get our clients to and from these critical appointments and do a little bit of social interaction in our vehicles en route. Little traffic is a pleasant side benefit.
How can we help?
This is the question Stryder is asking its clients. The team is calling clients, one by one, just to check in.
The team is asking questions such as:
- Do you have support from a family member?
- Would you like us to set up a regular call each day or each week?
- Is there anything we can help you with such as pharmacy items or grocery items?
"Thank you Robyn and the two drivers from Stryder today. You made my medical appointment so much less stressful. Such a blessing, I am truly grateful." - Marguerita, Stryder client
Despite the current challenges, Stryder is positive about the future. The team is continuing to grow and services are being added as the needs of the community increases.
Stryder is an NDIS provider and receive some Government funding to offer subsidised transport for seniors and others with diverse needs. An additional service is the Stryder Night Ryder - an after hours bus hire service for social groups, staff Christmas parties, sporting teams or CSR activities.
Strategic partnership opportunities are available to further support our work in the community. To discuss further call Cathy on 9816 5000.