Drug Arm rolling on

A SMALL group of volunteers climbs into a little van each Friday night, driving around the city and providing a helping hand to those most in need.

The Drug Arm van, which was withdrawn from Bundaberg in October last year, has been heading out on Friday nights since the service was returned to the rum city in December.

The running of the van was taken over by the YMCA after the Drug Arm service pulled out of the city due to the lack of funds.

YMCA Bundaberg CEO Phill Sellwood said the volunteers from the Street Outreach Service had returned and were back to patrolling the city to help the homeless.

"We haven't seen many homeless people around in the nights we have gone out," Mr Sellwood said.

Mr Sellwood said the downturn in numbers could be that on Friday nights the city is mostly packed with people who have been out to the pubs and clubs.

But despite the slow numbers, Mr Sellwood said the service was definitely needed in Bundaberg.

The group started a steering committee in Bundaberg to determine the best use of the van.

One of those suggestions including changing the night the van operated.

"We just think that Friday night might not be the best night to help the most people," he said.

"There could be a trial to see if going out earlier in the week is more successful."

Mr Sellwood said the steering committee was also looking at options to make use of the van as an educational tool as well as the outreach service for the homeless.

"We have a couple of topics such as mental health, suicide awareness and binge drinking," he said.

"Each of the stakeholders would be able to come along with the van and speak to high school students about their area."

Time is also running out for the van to continue its partnership with Drug Arm.

Mr Sellwood said the affiliation was set to run out in February, but there was the option to extend that if plans were still being made by the steering committee.

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