Serving the Community: Llanwrtyd Wells Community Transport
Community transport is a sector that goes above and beyond to serve communities all over the UK. Day in and day out, our members are lifelines for their passengers, connecting them to the people and places they rely on.
But with the vast majority of their usual passengers having to stay home, and with doubt over funding and availability of staff, the sector, like so many others, is going through a difficult and uncertain time.
Yet in the face of this, we’ve seen community transport doing what it does best: stepping up in times of adversity and serving their communities. At CTA, we want to tell the stories of the organisations who, where they can, are reaching out and supporting those in need. Take a look at the story of one of our members below.
Llanwrtyd Wells Community Transport, based in Powys, mid-Wales, are going the extra mile to support isolated and vulnerable people in their rural community – something which is more important than ever in the midst of this crisis. Dave Brown, Managing Director, has made contact with local businesses who are happy for people to get in touch and order groceries, request prescriptions or other medications, and even order takeway food.
Many of their members and service users are rurally isolated, without access to transport, and rely on LWCT to get out into their communities. Due to coronavirus though, usual services have been suspended, leaving them to find new ways to make sure they’re still serving the people that depend on them.
Whilst there are some businesses that are able to deliver supplies, many more can’t, especially to people based rurally, and that’s where Llanwrtyd Wells Community Transport’s volunteers come in – taking the same approach as they’ve always done – ensuring that those living rurally can still be connected. Their drivers have volunteered to shop, collect and deliver pre-ordered groceries and prescriptions as well as run other essential services.
By undertaking these vital home deliveries, Llanwrtyd Wells Community Transport are ensuring that their members are exposed to less risk and can stay in their homes whilst still having access to essential food, medication and other supplies.
In such a positive affirmation of their community, Dave told us that the’re not actually experiencing a vast increase in demand for these sorts of services due to other community volunteers stepping up and supporting their neighbours and other isolated people. “This is allowing us to be constructive in our thinking,” said Dave, “and to adapt our services to support those individuals and businesses who aren’t getting any help. We’ve also been able to help with delivery of animal food to small farms, and offer support for sole traders such as craftspeople and self-employed workers who have had to go into self-isolation and need supplies specific to their work.”
“As far as possible,” Dave told us, “we’re trying to provide these services for free. Our reserves are low though, so for longer journeys over five miles, we’ll still have to charge a small fare.”
Dave also told us about John, one of their regular volunteers, whose job in normal times is to phone around passengers and arrange their now cancelled shopping trips. “John is still making his calls,” said Dave, “phoning our most vulnerable members and making sure they’re ok, checking if they need anything and just having a chat. John might be the only person they speak to at the moment and he’s going above and beyond – a real community champion.”
“If the community needs the support of Llanwrtyd Wells Community Transport for anything,” Dave continued, “no matter how small or large the need may seem, if we can help, we will.”
If you have a story to tell about the work you’re doing to support your community at the moment, we’d love to hear from you. Just drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also contact the CTA advice service if you need any further information. The CTA team are currently working remotely, so to ensure you speak to the right person first time, please email email@example.com receive a call back.
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.