All the hard work has been worth it!

We thought you’d all appreciate a round up of what VASA achieved in 2016 and to hear some of our plans for 2017.

The last few months have been hectic and not without problems! BT let us down badly on internet connection and the long awaited cloud based telephones but we’re back on line and expecting the telephone engineer early next week! (Don’t speak to loudly!)

We’ve said goodbye to Alison Moore, our transport manager but welcomed Brian Seabourne (retired police officer) with all his transport experience and he is settling in well. Community groups are growing and we’ve had a bumper 9 months attracting volunteers for those groups, other organisations and our own services. We’re on track to complete just under 29 000 journeys this year! Here are some more stats:

31 March – 31 Dec 2016

  • 303  Organisations and groups we’ve helped with support and advice
  • 629  Volunteers attracted
  • £566k worth of funding applications assisted with for c40 organisations
  • 17 065 journeys booked
    • 69% are health journeys i.e. GP’s, hospital, operations, opticians, physio, chiropodist etc
    • 9.2% are mental health journeys
    • 14.2% are social services journeys
    • 7.6% are rural and social inclusion journeys

With one more quarter to go, we will complete just under 29 000 journeys this year!  This isn’t all VASA has been up to!

We have made a good start helping and building community groups too.  OSCARS is a community group VASA are in partnership with to deliver self sustainable services like lunch clubs and carer respite services in the Wellesbourne Community. Heather Brown and Kirsty Holder are the leading ladies in this partnership.  We’ve also started ‘The Big Bench Challenge’ in this area whereby we’ve been helping them get benches put in place so that no one has to sit on the curb!

We’ve streamlined the way in which we run community transport services by putting in an auditable, data collection system making it so much easier for clients to call up and book a car without having to repeat their details constantly. It also helps us keep in touch with drivers by matching drivers closest to the client to ensure they’re not charged for ‘dead’ miles. Now we’re able to see where all our clients are going and use the data to recruit more volunteer drivers in areas that need more help.

Thirty volunteer drivers are joining VASA at the end of January from the WRCC in a partnership that helps us increase journeys and the WRCC to focus on mini bus transport solutions for groups that VASA may have set up! A win-win situation for both organisations.

We’re working with groups in Studley to help make the common more accessible to all and offer walks to those living with dementia and other health issues. We’re also supporting the allotments initiative set up by Eric Holder in Studley and are about to start a volunteer recruitment drive for Studley.

We’ve said goodbye to some trustees as they’ve moved county and country and some retired here too. Many new volunteers are now in the Stratford office manning the phones and helping out on projects and we intend to keep on recruiting volunteers this year too!

The volunteer driver evaluation results came in with some really great comments, ideas and ways in which we need to up our game in the coming year. Some possible, some not! What was most important was that:

  • 96% of our volunteer drivers felt that their role made a difference to the lives of our clients
  • 81% felt they had a greater feeling of engagement in their community

We’ve taken a long, hard look at our finances and sustainability and implemented plans to ensure VASA will go from strength to strength this year BUT we cannot do this alone.

VASA needs your support this year more than ever. Pop in and say hello.  Email us.  Phone us (BT willing) and let us know how we can help YOUR community more.

Welcome to the New Year.  Welcome to 2017!

Jane             Kirsty         Sam         Brian       Trish        Zena      Emily       Grazyna

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