• #IWill Week – Stories from Community Transport

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    • #IWill Week – Stories from Community Transport
    • by Emma Sims
      Support and Engagement Executive

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    Back in August, CTA pledged to the #iwill campaign, a national campaign run by the charity Step Up to Serve. The campaign aims to get 60% of young people involved in social action by 2020. This includes activities such as volunteering, fundraising and campaigning.

    When many young people are isolated from the opportunities around them, we know that community transport and the incredible work your organisations do can connect them to these opportunities, offering chances for them to get involved in social action; enhancing their skills, and at the same time, strengthening their own communities.

    This week is #iwill week, a week all about celebrating young people who lead social action and the organisations who provide the opportunities for them to do this. In celebration of #iwillweek we spoke to two CTA members who provide opportunities for young people to get involved in social action; Concern Wadebridge, a charity supporting local people over 50, based in north Cornwall; and Action4Youth, a youth charity based in Buckinghamshire.

    Read on to find out about the social action opportunities they offer for young people in, and alongside the world of community transport.

    Concern Wadebridge 

    Concern Wadebridge is a charity for local people over 50; they provide social action opportunities for young people in their area as well as providing connection for young people to access the opportunities around them through community transport.

    Tell us about Concern Wadebridge

    “Concern Wadebridge is a charity for local people over 50. We provide a ‘Youth Club’ for older and disabled people, as well Access Wadebridge that provides wheelchair accessible minibuses, Shopmobility and voluntary cars. The centre is a community hub that supports a wide range of activities, as well as a safe haven and information hub.

    We provide opportunities bringing all ages of the community working together to benefit the community. We work with the local secondary school  where young people volunteer in keeping our centre grounds tidy, and we also promote intergenerational work helping in the kitchen and on our reception. We also encourage helping young people to learn how to check a vehicle over, hoping it might help them in later life when they have their own car.

    At the moment, we have one young volunteer who had issues around self-confidence, being supported by a more mature volunteer. He is now volunteering, meeting people and providing teas and coffees, he has come out of his shell and feels valued by what he does. He is now more confident in meeting new people and has no problem in making sure his opinion counts!”

    How has community transport supported your opportunities for young people? 

    “Having the use of minibuses means we can provide trips out and about and as we live in a very rural area. It has meant young people have been able to access activities in larger towns and also Truro. Transport is crucial in our area and the use of community minibuses brings greater opportunities to young people that without them would not be there. We deliver transport that makes a difference to the lives of others!”


    Action4Youth is a youth charity providing positive experiences and activities which inspire children and young people. They deliver outdoor education and run their area’s National Citizen Service (NCS), a national voluntary personal and social development programme for 15–17 year olds, and Duke of Edinburgh Award.

    Tell us about Action4Youth

    “Our aim is to enable young people of all abilities and disabilities to learn to challenge themselves and work with others – learning what they can achieve rather than what they can’t. We support over 80 youth clubs and organisations throughout the area giving guidance and support to help their growth and development including our own Young Leaders programme.

    In September 2017 we launched The Inspiration Programme, a unique, accredited course for young people developing them for life and preparing them for work. The programme focusses directly on young people, giving them tools to understand themselves and their peers, to help them grow in self-esteem and communication skills.

    We hope that those who we work with are more self-confident and have greater self-esteem, are better engaged with their peers and their communities, more socially aware and ready for life and work.

    One young person who attended our NCS programme, Jack, has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with autistic traits, which means that whilst he’s very sociable, he struggles to interact appropriately. Jack’s mum, Mel said: “Jack was very sceptical at first; he told me he was nervous about going because he didn’t know anyone, but by the end of the first week he was buzzing. He loved all of the activities, and taking part in things he’d never done before, especially the Dragon’s Den experience and working for a charity.”

    How has community transport supported your opportunities for young people?

    “Access to the minibus has enabled us to work more broadly with schools in both bringing young people to our Milton Keynes centre and delivering programmes in the schools. It has enabled us to run our Duke of Edinburgh expeditions programme at lower rates and more simply as we no longer have to hire transport. This makes the programme more accessible to disadvantaged young people.

    We are able to access charities in more remote (non-public transport linked) areas in order that our young people can safely visit, volunteer and raise funds for them as part of their community social action projects, extending the reach and impact of what they are able to achieve to a wider number of beneficiaries.”

    We’re encouraging all our members, whether you currently work with young people or not, to consider offering youth social action opportunities in your organisations, recognising the role young people can play in addressing the challenges you face.

    Big thanks go to Nick from Action4Youth and Andy from Concern Wadebridge for sharing their stories. You can read our original blog on the #iwill campaign here.

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