Community Transport Sussex | Community Transport Christmas
by Therese Cole
Business Development Officer
Christmas is always a busy time for Community Transport Sussex! We have over 2,500 registered members who use our services, offering over 10,000 assisted journeys every month across the county, and the demand is high at this time of year! Most of our members are older people who for whom attending social groups, sometimes on a daily basis, is so important. During the Christmas period, many rely on us to get them to Christmas parties and celebrations, whether in groups or requesting transport to visit their families. Our bus services run right up to Christmas Eve, ensuring that any of our members can visit their families and friends.
We also run our own festive trips – this year we’re organising two trips to the Horsham Christmas markets, where our members can access a cost effective and enjoyable trip to another town, visit the markets and enjoy themselves. Our dedicated ‘Travel Buddy’ will escort the group, ensuring no-one is isolated and they all have a good time. Our driver also plays a key role in helping them to have a safe and stress free day, helping them get on and off the bus and re-assuring them that he’ll be there for pickup. Several of our members booked to go on the trip are electric wheelchair users and are looking forward to a great visit! We’re also running a door to door pick up trip for the local Christmas Pantomime – this year is Dick Whittington, which is proving to be very popular!
We also see the impact access to transport during the holidays has on individuals. In one Christmas gone by, one of our members contacted us to ask if there were any possibility that we would be able to provide transport for her on Christmas Day. She had planned to book a local wheelchair accessible taxi but wasn’t able to. Thankfully, one of our volunteer drivers, John, who has a wheelchair accessible vehicle, volunteered to give up his Christmas Day to collect the lady in the morning, take her to Church for her Christmas service, collect her, take her to her family for her Christmas lunch and come back for her in the late afternoon.
This lady would not have been able to go out at all on Christmas Day without John. She would have been alone, with no way to get to her family. That’s the diﬀerence that community transport can make. We often have our volunteers go above and beyond their normal duties, as they have real empathy with our members, and appreciate that access to friends and family at Christmas is something we sometimes take for granted. We are proud of all of our staﬀ and volunteers who are ready and willing to step up to help those in need of a journey at Christmas.
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.