TWU chips in for Trans-Help

The Transport Workers Union raises funds to support Trans-Help

By Brad Gardner | September 3, 2010

The driver support initiative, Trans-Help, has received a small financial boost after members of the Transport Workers Union raised funds to support it.

Delegates at last week’s NSW TWU conference raised $1,309 to donate to the program. Founded by Dianne Carroll, Trans-Help runs a mobile support van to deliver health checks and help truck drivers suffering depression.

In his newsletter to TWU members, NSW TWU State Secretary Wayne Forno has hinted at more financial support for the group.

"I am going to take the issue to the finance committee to see what formal assistance we can give Trans-Help," he writes.

The donation came following a $17,800 cash injection by NatRoad to keep Trans-Help’s van on the road. The group was facing a funding shortfall in July and needed to raise money to keep the van going.

The van service began in 2008 to help drivers who do not have time to visit a doctor for health check-ups. Trans-Help tests blood pressure, weight, height and glucose and cholesterol levels.

It eventually partnered with depression awareness group BeyondBlue to help drivers suffering from mental illness. Tests are carried out by volunteer nurses, while a counsellor is also provided.

Trans-Help earlier this year received a $20,000 donation from engine manufacturer Cummins. The money will be used to cover the van’s operational costs.

BeyondBlue has given $10,000 for equipment upgrades and to improve Trans-Help’s information database. Carroll says an improved database will help Trans-Help access a driver’s information remotely, meaning it can be kept updated more often and retrieved when needed.

Under its current system, Trans-Help needs to return to its centre at Tarcutta in NSW to input and retrieve data.

The group is now trying to lobby government for long-term funding and the establishment of a medical centre in Tarcutta dedicated to truck drivers.

Carroll also wants funding for a 24-hour counseling service, training for road trauma specialists and a rehabilitation program.

"We do think it is a fantastic program. They do a great job in what is a very tough circumstance," NatRoad CEO Bernie Belacic says.

Related stories:

Trans-Help on its knees as funds dry up
Trans-Help motors along with cash injection

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