North Otago’s senior citizens have been rediscovering their love of Sunday road trips.
Since June, Age Concern Otago has been running a “day out” service, offering Sunday van trips around the Waitaki district for people over 65 years old.
Initially, Age Concern Otago planned to run the 10-seater van fortnightly, but the initiative had been so popular the trips had been made a weekly event.
Age Concern Otago’s Waitaki co-ordinator Caitriona Prunty said midweek excursions could also be added to the schedule.
“We have to rotate people around now to make sure everyone gets a go, which is a great complaint to have,” she said.
“People come back so happy, they have such a lovely time.”
The trips are run by former Driving Miss Daisy driver Carole Wood, supported by an additional volunteer. Past trips have included a walk at Trotters Gorge, lunch at Duntroon Pub, afternoon tea at Riverstone Kitchen, dessert and coffee at Coast cafe in Kakanui, a production at St Kevin’s College and a post-lockdown tiki tour around the Waitaki district.
The cost of each trip differed, depending on the destination.
“We go somewhere different each time; we are trying to spread a little bit of cash around,” she said.
“It is a side benefit for doing this, aside from the happiness.”
About half of the participants could not drive themselves any more, and the trips were a good opportunity for them to get out and about, she said.
The only requirement was to be over 65. It was encouraged, but not necessary, that those taking part were also members of Age Concern.