After witnessing first-hand the need for bi-lingual companion drivers within east Auckland, Jessica Ma launched Health Shuttle earlier this year.
Health Shuttle is a companion driving service that provides safe transport to medical appointments, shopping locations, airport pick-ups and drop-offs and social activities for anyone who may need it.
Having worked previously for charitable organisation St John, Ma has more than five years’ experience working with elderly and disabled Kiwis.
“Being able to help the most vulnerable people when they really need it is my great passion,” Ma says.
“I recognised there is a need (for companion drivers), particularly for our elderly Asian community who need more support and assistance going to their medical appointments where there are language barriers.
And quite often, when they go to hospitals, there isn’t always an interpreter available.
“So, I help them confirm the appointment, taking them there and providing support and interpreting as well if needed, also reporting back to their family members regarding patient follow-ups as well.”
Ma’s language skills, as she speaks both English and Mandarin, were a great asset of value to St John, who gifted her with a Certificate of Appreciation for her “fantastic attitude and translation skills” in 2019.
A confident and secure driver, Ma says she always puts the safety of her customers first. She also has a First Aid Certificate and Health Shuttle is a certified service supplier approved by NZ SuperGold Card.
Health Shuttle has been approved as a Total Mobility Operator will be able to accept total mobility cards from January 1, 2023.
“I enjoy driving around and helping people,” Ma says. “There’s a great sense of accomplishment (in helping people).”
For more information, contact Ma at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on 020 4069 1390.