IDEAS - IDEA04

Transport support is one of the most important community-support activities.

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Those of us who have easy access to transport tend to take it for granted. Those who do not have easy access soon find out how important it is. It is not a great leap to realising that transport support is one of the key roles for community-support groups. The Golden Valley region is well-served by Community Transport Support - which is just as well as public transport is modest at best (and non-existent for many) whilst taxi services are rare & expensive. It is not just that people need to get to medical appointments and shopping. Everyone needs social contact as well. Entertainment in-the-home is supported better now than at any time in the Past but it is not the same as going-out with some friends or even going-out to visit friends.

 

The community-support groups we are trying to support are involved in "social, charitable, health-supporting, hobby-supporting, educational, religious, sporting and other community-focused" activities. That covers a lot of activity - and many people lose out from much if not all of that because they lack transport. It seems obvious that those groups who are involved in such activities would look to support their local Community Transport schemes ... but few of them do. Instead, some groups develop their own 'internal' transport schemes. Many of those schemes are excellent and cover gaps which the established Community Transport schemes cannot fill. However, they can be wasteful of resources. At the same time, other groups ignore the problem altogether, effectively leaving out many people who could make use of their services. It is surely worthwhile for these groups to at least think about using those community-transport groups that either specialise in providing Community Support or which have spare capacity within their 'internal' transport schemes.
* The 'generic idea' that the venues used by community-support groups should co-operate better is being developed as #Idea05.
* Does your community-support group operate an 'internal' transport scheme? Do you have spare capacity or could you do with support? If so, it may be worth your letting us know and we will see if we can spread the word.
* Do you know anyone who can drive and would welcome the opportunity to use that ability to meet & help people, with no commitment except as suits them? If so, suggest that they volunteer to drive for one of the local Community Transport schemes. They may expect their costs to be covered - and they may expect to find it an easy & rewarding way to 'give something back'.

 

  See here for a page in Herefordshire.gov.uk which lists the 7 main Community Transport schemes in Herefordshire and here for a leafet on the Travel Links initiative supported by the Council (downloaded from this page in Herefordshire.gov.uk). All but a bit of the north of the region we are supporting is covered by Dore Community Transport. The western part of that bit is supported by Hay & District Dial-a-Ride whilst the eastern part of that bit is supported by Leominster's Community Wheels. These schemes all have their limitations. They cannot cover every travel need with all of the flexibility that may be required. However, they can do a lot and it is certainly worth giving them a try.
Dore Community Transport is a charity that is run by hands-on trustees and volunteer drivers with minimal administrative support. It should not be a surprise that, as reported in Idea#01, wishing to support Dore CT provided the inspiration for the development of this Groups Initiative. After all, transport support really is key to many of the other forms of community-support.