9 November 2017

Toyota Camry drives local community groups

Four local community groups have each received one of the last locally manufactured Toyota Camry vehicles.

Toyota Australia President Dave Buttner
Toyota Australia President Dave Buttner with recipients

Toyota Australia President Dave Buttner today handed over the keys to the not-for-profit organisations, whose work ranges from supporting homeless youth, senior citizens and people living with a disability throughout the Hobsons Bay area.

"It is very important that beyond the closure of manufacturing, Toyota Australia gives back to the community and local area that we have called home for so many years," Toyota Australia President Dave Buttner said.

"The donation of these vehicles, built by our dedicated workers here at Altona, will support these local organisations in providing essential services to some of the most in-need and vulnerable groups within the community."

"Toyota has a global commitment to mobility for all. From a local perspective, we know that these vehicles will go towards helping hundreds of people in the Hobsons Bay community achieve greater mobility and quality of life."

Representatives from the groups received the vehicles in a ceremony at Altona today.

Rhonda Collins from Latitude: Directions for Young People, an organisation which supports homeless young people in Melbourne's West, explained how the donation was much more than just a car.

"So much of our work takes place in a car. Our young people are so disengaged that if we don't take them to where they need to be, they don't go. We are able to build rapport on a journey in a car, where eye contact is not necessary and the fear of judgement is removed. It's a safe space and a key component in reconnecting our young people to the community."

CEO of LINK Community Transport, Rick Lawford, explained how donations like this will help create added operational capacity.

"Our services address the scourge of accessibility and isolation issues in our community for aged, disabled and otherwise transport-vulnerable residents. This vehicle will help facilitate people's ability to maintain independence and/or to age gracefully in their homes, especially at a time when demand for our services far outstrips supply."

Gateway Community Services General Manager William Kelly told of the organisation's excitement in adding to their small fleet, which assists local residents in maintaining active lives and access to community facilities and events.

"This Toyota Camry will greatly assist transporting some of the most socially and economically disadvantaged residents of Hobsons Bay," Gateway Community Services General Manager, William Kelly said.

Laverton Community Integrated Services CEO, Michael Pernar, explained how the donation will help in assisting some of the most disengaged and disadvantaged people within the community.

"This car will allow our crisis intervention service workers to access clients that have mobility and transport issues. It will also help facilitate our L2P program, where mentors assist 16 - 21 year olds in gaining their 120 driving hours in order for them to get their driver's license."

Similarly to this, last month the Toyota Community Trust was announced, initiated through a $32 million endowment. The Trust will help young people in Melbourne's west realise their potential and leave a lasting legacy in the community following the company's proud 54-year history of local manufacturing.

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