This project has been designed to support the growth and development of accessible and inclusive transport to health settings for patients, visitors or staff in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area. This covers Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport, South Powys and Torfaen, and funding has been provided by the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board to improve access to health settings.
Grant funding is available to existing community transport enterprises as well as new transport projects.
Our aim is to support the ongoing delivery of vital lifeline transport services, the development of new schemes or services, and to encourage new partnerships within the sector. If you are looking to develop or grow a not-for-profit transport service across Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport, South Powys or Torfaen, we urge you to contact us!
If you have any questions or would like an informal discussion, please contact Alison Owen on email email@example.com.
Here are some of the schemes that have been supported so far:
Transport to Health Project: Blaenau Gwent Car Scheme
The Blaenau Gwent Car Scheme is a sister to neighbouring Monmouthshire’s Bridges Community Car Scheme and launched in September 2021.
Although the team at Bridges knew they had a successful model for running a volunteer car scheme, launching in a new area was daunting but they received support from Transport to Health and Project Partner, GAVO to assist with local intelligence, contacts in the Health & Social Care sector and with volunteer recruitment. £1,900 of funding was awarded to the Scheme too to cover costs for Volunteer Training, Publicity and Software Support.
The Scheme got on the road in November once they had two fully-inducted drivers. The plan had been to start in Brynmawr, but demand from surrounding towns and villages meant the pilot area was quickly expanded to include Abertillery, Garnllydan and Ebbw Vale as well. Passengers have been supported to get to GP, health centre and hospital appointments, both within and outside the ABUHB area.
Some journeys are very local but others can be some distance. Currently the Scheme is supporting a blind gentleman to get to his chemotherapy treatment at Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff. Project Coordinator, Paul Harrington says, “Because of his sight loss Mr A cannot travel unassisted and taxi drivers don’t like to wait. Our drivers can escort Mr A into the clinic, are happy to wait while he has his treatment and then return him home again. Mr A very much appreciates his regular driver’s company and sense of humour, he has told me he thinks the staff at Velindre are relieved when they leave as they seem to be having too much fun!”
Passenger Mrs C cannot praise the service and its volunteers highly enough. Being disabled and needing to use a wheelchair she is eligible for hospital transport. However, hospital transport requires a very early start and due to her disability, Mrs C finds it impossible to be ready in time. When using hospital transport in the past, Mrs C reports being left in waiting rooms for long periods with no access to toilets or refreshments and once of being forgotten for her return journey entirely.
“With the Car Scheme I can arrange for them to turn up exactly when I need them to get me to my appointment. The driver helps me throughout and stays with me in the Waiting Room. After the appointment they are there ready to take me straight home again. It’s absolutely superb and I am very, very grateful to them.”
The Car Scheme has been growing month-on-month and is actively recruiting at the moment for more volunteer drivers to cope with demand.
Transport To Health Project: Disability Can Do – Can Do Transport
Disability Can Do is an independent, local charity based in Pontllanfraith that supports people with disabilities and their carers to break down the barriers that restrict their life choices and opportunities. Prior to the Pandemic, the charity had been successfully piloting a transport scheme using a second-hand vehicle that had been donated to them, but the lockdowns and government restrictions stopped them in their tracks.
Hearing about the Transport to Health project in Summer 2021 via their local Caerphilly GAVO Officer, they contacted the project’s Regional Community Transport Coordinator and explored with her the possibility of applying for funding to get their Can Do Transport project back underway. By this time, their existing vehicle was aging and so, as well as wanting to develop their transport scheme further, they also wanted some funding to go towards purchasing a second accessible vehicle. Using evidence from their pilot period they were able to evidence the demand they had been servicing for health related journeys and also give details of the volunteer hours it had taken to run the service.
“Being awarded £9,475 by Transport to Health in October 2021 meant we could progress our transport service offering with confidence,” says DCD’s Fundraising Officer, Allan Herbert. “Having another vehicle means we can advertise our service to the community more widely, as well as meaningfully recruit more volunteer drivers.
“Having this ability to expand means ‘Can Do Transport’ can become a fully-fledged component of our aspiration for Disability Can Do becoming a holistic service to disabled people and their carers.”
They purchased a newer vehicle in February 2022 and are actively recruiting more volunteer drivers to help the scheme.
Community Transport Association UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered in Cardiff no. 1985361 Registered office: 12 Hilton Street M1 1JF. Registered as a charity in England and Wales no. 1002222. Charity Registered in Scotland No. SC038518.