Trans-Help wins $100k prize for charity work

The Trans-Help Foundation has won $100,000 from American Express in recognition of its charity work

By Brad Gardner | December 14, 2010

The Trans-Help Foundation is set to increase its services after winning $100,000 from American Express for its charity work.

Run as part of talk show host Oprah Winfrey’s visit to Australia, the competition rewarded a group or individual for dedicating time to helping others.

Trans-Help, which runs counselling services and health check-ups for truck drivers, was nominated for its efforts.

Founder Di Carroll says she is "absolutely stoked" for the trucking industry because the funds will be used to train more counsellors and maintain Trans-Help’s support van.

"I’m so excited for the industry," Carroll says.

"More people are screaming for help. We need to sustain our services."

The cheque came at the right time for Trans-Help, with Carroll saying the began to question how she would be able to meet the growing demand for the organisation’s services.

"I was getting a bit jittery."

Carroll hopes the publicity generated from the competition will gain the attention of governments, which she says have ignored pleas from her for extra funding to help truck drivers.

As well as seeking public funds for long-term security, Trans-Help will also be looking to businesses to help.

"We need support from the major corporates in the industry," Carroll says.

She wants to secure funding to build a medical centre at Tarcutta in NSW dedicated to truck drivers and to establish a 24-hour counselling service.

Carroll says Trans-Help’s win shows how important it is to the trucking industry and wider community.

She will attend today’s taping of the Oprah Winfrey Show at the Sydney Opera House.

Based at Tarcutta, Trans-Help uses its specialised van to counsel distressed drivers and their families and conduct health checks for those who do not have time to visit a doctor.

The van service began in 2008 and tests blood pressure, weight, height and glucose and cholesterol levels.

Trans-Help also partners depression awareness group BeyondBlue to help drivers suffering from mental illness. Tests are carried out by volunteer nurses, while a counsellor is also provided.

Carroll was earlier this year awarded an Order of Australia Medal as part of the Queen’s Birthday 2010 Honours List.

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