Townsends recognised

Max and Marion Townsend were awarded a certificate of appreciation by Detective Inspector Peter McKenna MAX and Marion Townsend have been recognised for their work for the community by the NSW Police.

At last Thursday’s Manning Great Lakes LAC Medals and Awards Ceremony at Tuncurry Bowling Club, Max and Marion were presented with a certificate of Appreciation for the work they do with the Street Reach Bus in Wingham.

Max and Marion said the certificate was completely unexpected.

“We were so overwhelmed,” admits Marion.

“We were excited but we didn’t know if we would have to speak.”

As it turns out they simply had to receive the certificate, presented to them by Detective Inspector Peter McKenna and soak in the recognition.

“It is well over due,” said Constable Dave Abbott who nominated the Townsends.

“They have always been a great help with the young ones. They know a lot of the kids by name and they return people to their homes safely. They give a great assistance to the community.”

Max and Marion have operated the Street Reach Bus since November 1999, operating the service on Friday and Saturday nights.

They drive the streets, with Max always at the wheel, seeking to return roaming youngsters to their homes or a refuge if need be.

Their service goes above and beyond the four wheels of the bus though with the couple on call 24 hours a day.

“The police can call us any time of the day or night,” said Max who admits there is a lot of work the couple do behind the scenes to help.

Max always gives out a business card to the young people they assist that has both the mobile phone number for the Street Reach Bus as well as Max and Marion’s home landline .

“They know where they can come to talk, that’s the biggest thing,” admits Max.

“We have a saying, ‘what is said in the van stays in the van.'”

Over the years Max and Marion have seen many of the youngsters they have helped grow up to live productive and happy lives.

“It is rewarding seeing kids make a good life for themselves,” said Marion.

Max and Marion are happy to continue with the Street Reach Bus into the foreseeable future.

They also give out food parcels to help people in need.

To call the Street Reach Bus phone 0418 641 370.

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