Rachel Cash got her first taste of companion driving after driving her elderly parents to their various social activities.
“They were active until very late in life – attending church and things like book and floral art clubs,” Rachel says.
Soon, members of her parents’ church, who no longer drove, proved equally keen to secure Rachel’s services. Far from finding the requests a chore, Rachel enjoyed the experience.
At the time, she had a desk-bound job working in logistics for a rental car company and missed having personal contact with people. When the opportunity arose to purchase Driving Miss Daisy Warkworth, Rachel leapt at the chance.
She transports clients anywhere from Mangawhai and Kaiwaka in the north, to Puhoi in the south. She has two vehicles including a VW Caddy, which is fully wheelchair accessible.
Many clients Rachel drives for are seniors needing to get to medical appointments, which may be as far away as Manukau or Whangarei. Some clients are working age on ACC, others are children from rural areas needing a lift to school.
“I take anybody, anywhere they need to go,” Rachel says.
She has found that during lockdown, many clients have been starved of social contact and want to talk, something Rachel loves to do.
Rachel says to be a good companion driver you need to be flexible, proactive and to think on your feet.
“But most of all you need to be compassionate,” she says.
Driving Miss Daisy Warkworth accepts the Total Mobility Scheme card and is an ACC contracted supplier.