Volunteer aged care driver switches gears

Avolunteer who has spent nearly 20 years with Boandik will soon retire.

The man at the wheel of the Boandik community bus, Lindsay Pexton has been responsible for taking residents on journeys across the South East since 2003.

“I enjoy helping people and the experiences you have with them (Boandik’s residents),” Mr Pexton said.

“There’s a wealth of knowledge out there with older adults – you drive and they’ll talk to you … and tell you about their lives.”

A well-known face at Boandik St Mary’s and Lake Terrace, Mr Pexton’s efforts have been integral to Boandik’s ability to enrich the lives of residents with bus outings.

“Most of my memories have been pretty good,” he said.

“It’s changed a lot over the years, of course, because in the very early days … another driver and I used to make home brewed beer for them (Boandik’s residents) and things like that.

“You would not get away with that now,” he said.

“We’d have a luncheon every couple of weeks, and they’d try the beer or the stout, whichever we had made.

“That fell away a long time ago.”

Mr Pexton explained that his volunteer role with Boandik, which has seen him drive residents at Lake Terrace and St Mary’s over the years, was coming to a halt as he prepares for an operation.

He plans to return to Boandik in a different capacity after his operation.

Boandik St Mary’s Lifestyle coordinator Cindy Crozier said Mr Pexton possesses all the qualities required of a volunteer within the aged care sector.

“He is kind, generous and patient, and also likes to have a good laugh with everyone he meets,” Ms Crozier said.

“He has been a valued bus driver for many years, and his wealth of knowledge of areas within the South East and just over the border in Victoria have been a great help to lifestyle coordinators.

“He will be sadly missed by all residents, Ascot Club members and staff.

“We wish Lindsay all the best with his new chapter in life.”

Lake Terrace Lifestyle coordinator Debra Brockie said Mr Pexton would be missed by all.

“I have known Lindsay for 17 the years I have worked here and have been lucky to have Lindsay drive with me on outings for the last six years,” Ms Brockie said.

“He is a gem – always helpful, considerate, and interacts well with all residents.

“He is a safe, friendly driver, who will be sadly missed by us all.”

Fellow Lifestyle coordinator Sharon White said Mr Pexton had been a friend to Boandik’s Independent Living Unit residents for many years.

“His knowledge of the ‘back roads’ to all of the areas that we have travelled for our lunches is amazing,” Ms White said.

“The residents always enjoy seeing different scenery and often will have past connections to the local areas that we visit.

“As a group we would sincerely thank Lindsay for his company and commitment to ensuring we arrive safely to our destination and safely home again.”

Boandik Volunteer Coordinator Claire Pluckhahn said Mr Pexton was an devoted volunteer and always willing to help out.

“He has a very caring nature, and our clients enjoy him as their bus driver,” she said.

“Thank you for the past 19 years!”

Boandik is now looking for new volunteers to provide an excellent bus driving service, as Mr Pexton has over his nearly 20 years with Boandik.

Prospective volunteers can email Ms Pluckhahn at cthompson@boandik.org.au to express interest in the position, or to join team of valued volunteers in another role.

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