FCSS to take over Wheelchair Van Society operations

After almost 40 years of operations, the Ponoka Wheelchair Van Society is handing over the reigns to Ponoka’s FCSS.

After almost 40 years of operations, the Ponoka Wheelchair Van Society is handing over the reigns to Ponoka’s Family and Community Support Services (FCSS).

The decision did not come lightly for the board, said society president Nell Liddle, but she is confident in FCSS’s abilities. “We trust that FCSS is going to continue the service the way it has been operating and perhaps grow it.”

To help FCSS with its new role, Liddle was proud of the fact that the group has recently raised enough money for two new vans to ensure clients will have continuation of services.

“We’ve got the full complement of drivers right now,” she added.

For FCSS, it was an honour to be considered to handle the operations, explained Shannon Boyce-Campbell, FCSS executive director.

“We will still try to gain insight and support from them,” said Boyce-Campbell.

After that many years, she suggests the many volunteers who contributed to te society should be recognized for keeping the vital service running for town and county residents. The service provided transportation to in and out-of-town appointments for community member who would not normally be able to travel by themselves.

“They’ve done a lot of fundraising to see that it stays in this community,” explained Boyce-Campbell.

“There’s been such community support. That’s been the beauty of these handivans,” she added.

FCSS is set to take over on Wednesday, June 1 but the booking phone number of 403-783-0399 remains the same as does the 24-hour notice for regular appointments and two-day notice for out-of-town appointments.

Drivers, fees, policies and funds will remain allocated to the van services. Liddle said the only thing that will change is the group operating it.