CODI drivers Adrian Pamenter and Steven Arrowsmith help to provide non-urgent transport for people with disabilities.
CODI drivers Adrian Pamenter and Steven Arrowsmith help to provide non-urgent transport for people with disabilities. David Nielsen

CODI rolls on after 35 years service to city

AFTER 35 years of service in the region, Coordinating Organisation for the Disabled in Ipswich is still going strong and looking to expand its services to rural areas surrounding Ipswich.

CODI was formed in 1981 during the Year of the Disabled with support from the Ipswich City Rotary Club, namely Max Webb and Rotary president Father John Dobson.

CODI’s general manager Jodie Redenbach, who will step down from the role once Pat Morgan takes over later this month, said the service was unique to Ipswich.

“We run services from Ipswich to Brisbane for anyone with hospital appointments if they are in a wheelchair, disabled or very frail and they can’t drive into Brisbane, which is a lot of people,” Ms Redenbach said.

“Services like this are really needed out in the region,” she said.

“We are looking at extending into more rural areas like Lockyer where people are screaming for transport. It’s an ageing population out there. We see not major growth, just slow growth and improvement with the service we do.”

Partly funded by the Department of Communities and Department of Social Services, the service runs 10 commuter buses and SUVs, with 32 staff including management committee, volunteers, administration and drivers.

Ms Redenbach said it was rewarding work for the entire CODI crew.

“We get a lot of feedback from the drivers and directly from clients and the wider community as well give us good feedback,” she said. “I used to go out there driving to find out what happened out on the road and you see some people and it makes you realise when you come back how lucky you are.

“Most of these people have a lot worse going on than any of us and they are just so happy and grateful.

“I think a lot of the drivers come back and they feel they have achieved something for the day, they have helped someone; whether it is someone old that can’t get around, giving a bit of friendship for them, helping them dealing with the isolation, or the severely disabled.

“We transport cerebral palsy league clients and work with a lot of the other services out here and the drivers just love it because they can bond with their clients. Most of them are travelling three or four times a week and they develop really good friendships.”

CODI celebrates its 35th anniversary with a dinner at Brothers Leagues Club with local dignitaries, members, present and past staff and volunteers and clients on May 7. The event is $25 per head for a two-course meal. For further details, phone 3282 7877or email whs@codi.org.au.



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