PALLIATIVEcare co-ordinator Meredith Dennis celebrates with club CEOs (from left) Rob Smith (Twin Towns), Gordon Rhodes (South
PALLIATIVEcare co-ordinator Meredith Dennis celebrates with club CEOs (from left) Rob Smith (Twin Towns), Gordon Rhodes (South

Clubs to the rescue

By DARREN COYNE

ASK a politician and get an excuse; ask your local Tweed clubs and get a result.

Shortly after The Daily News hit the streets yesterday, Twin Towns Services Club CEO, Rob Smith, was on the phone to other bosses of Tweed clubs.

They all agreed it was time to buy Tweed Palliative Support Inc ? a group of volunteers supporting people with terminal illness ? a new van.

Those that said yes were Gordan Rhodes, CEO of the South Tweed Sports Club, Wayne Kendrigan, CEO of Seagulls, and Ross Bailey, CEO of the Tweed Bowls Club.

A short time later Meredith Dennis, Tweed Shire's Citizen of the Year, received a phone call from Mr Smith who told her to start shopping.

"It was amazing, I was lost for words. I started crying," an emotional Ms Dennis said yesterday.

"We've been doing this work for eight years, and after the funding knock-back it was as if our work was finally being recognised.

Ms Dennis and the other 35 volunteers working with Tweed Palliative Support were devastated late last year when their application to the federal government for a new van was knocked back.

They were asking for $40,000 from a funding pot of $4 million for programs related to the transition of patients from hospital to home.

Ms Dennis had been using her own car, a Suzuki Vitara, to transport terminally ill patients to treatments, and also equipment, for seven years.

The request was denied, the group told they had failed to prove they could sustain the project.

"We've sustained it for eight years with no major funding help from anyone. We have done our own fundraising and only received small donations in the past," Ms Dennis said yesterday.

Mr Smith said although the clubs often competed against one another in business, they were all a part of the one community.

"Each year the Tweed clubs try to work on a joint project ... and this is something that is to the benefit of everyone in the Tweed," he said.

Mr Smith said representatives from Twin Towns had recently met with Tweed Palliative Support Inc and had been very impressed with the work the group was doing, however, the matter had not yet been before a meeting.

"When I read the newspaper this morning I knew it was time to do something, and that's when I got on the phone to the others to see if they were like-minded. They didn't hesitate," he said.

Mr Smith said an opportunity would be given to other clubs to contribute at a meeting next week, "but after calling those four this morning we basically had enough to cover it".

The van will be used to transport special beds, toilet chairs, walkers, and other speciality items which are used in the care of dying patients.



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