Community Transport Project
Our Community Transport project aims at expansion of our original community transport service to enable home from hospital journeys and help those reliant on social services and those living with mental health issues. VASA are working on increasing training for our volunteer drivers to include PATS (manual handling), safeguarding, first aid and data protection. The service was set up in 1979 and is now the largest in Warwickshire! It’s a volunteer led service provided to the residents of Stratford on Avon District to take them to medical and social appointments.
The community transport project challenge is simple. Keep Stratford on Avon District moving. Initially the community transport service was to help residents get to hospital and other medical appointments but, as our district has grown so too has the percentage of older people living here. Funding for buses has reduced and many retired people cannot afford to keep a car. Others simply aren’t able to access public transport. People become isolated, especially in the more rural parts of the district, and this leads to depression and hastens illness. Over the next decade there will be a much higher percentage of local residents needing assistance as our over 60’s increase in number creating a knock-on effect right through to those in their nineties. Helping keep people healthier and in touch with the community they live in is vital.
In Warwickshire there is a real need for transport home from hospital. VASA are working with WMAS to help provide trained volunteer drivers who can assist in overcoming the growing bed blocking issues faced by our hospitals.
The solution is to offer more transport. VASA chose to recruit volunteer drivers who use their own time and vehicles to transport locals to medical and social destinations so that they are not so isolated and feel a sense of wellbeing and improved independence. All drivers are interviewed, DBS checked and go through an induction course and before meeting clients they are given ID.
VASA now work with Social Services and WMAS to provide volunteer led community transport to get vulnerable and frail people home or to an appointment. We want to extend this service further by offering our drivers training that will enable them to work more closely with clients to offer a home from hospital service and increase supply of community transport for those living with mental health issues. We are forging new partnerships to enable this approach.
Driving the District
We talk about how VASA ‘drives the district’ and this is true in more than the obvious way. As volunteer drivers get to know the clients using their service we get to know more about their needs. This enables us to identify issues in communities and offer our help with support and advice, proven models for community services like carer respite or community activities. We help set up the services and train volunteers to manage them so that, as funding and services reduce, they are able to provide what is needed in their area. We work with the public and Stratford District Council to engage with people to find out what is needed and how we can help.
Journeys Booked So Far
Extending the Service
Home from Hospital
We are working with WMAS to help clients home from hospital. We will be expanding this service in 2017 by offering our volunteer drivers more training.
VASA is working in partnership with Social Services, Mental Health and WMAS to provide secure community transport for Stratford on Avon District residents
VASA is part of Warwickshire Transport Services. As the largest provider of community transport in the county, VASA is keen on a combined approach to enable a seamless delivery of community transport for the district.
Welcome to VASA – Voluntary Action Stratford-on-Avon District