Serving the Community – People to Places and Buzzer Buses
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 doubts 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. Here, Ben Harris, Account Executive at Endsleigh Insurance shares the stories of two community transport providers he’s been working with.
Recently I have spent a lot of my time engaging with community transport providers. Since Endsleigh became CTA’s partner for CTA Insurance, the team at Endsleigh has been reaching out to organisations across the UK to see how we can help when it comes to the insurance you rely on to serve your communities.
What I have found is a sector that cares greatly about the people they support and the difference this provides to the lives of so many. With the current challenges the whole country is facing due to coronavirus, this is the case now, more so than ever. I’ve seen first-hand the adaptable nature of CTA members adjusting what they do under the most difficult of circumstances, to make sure their passengers have the support they need.
I wanted to share the stories of two CTA members I’ve been speaking to recently who are going above and beyond in these difficult times. People to Places, a community transport provider based in Windsor and Maidenhead, are running a new food delivery service, collecting and delivering prescriptions, and offering a phone call support service to check in on vulnerable passengers. “We’re helping anyone over 70 or with a long term underlying health issue across our Local Authority area,” Peter Haley, Chief Executive at People to Places told me. “These are people who may not have used us before and have no previous association with People to Places, but have heard of us through our social media work, our network of contacts or through the community groups we’re supporting. We’ve even had the daughter of a lady who lives in Maidenhead contact us all the way from California.”
Peter and his team have been hard at work using every avenue to promote their services to make sure as many people as possible can benefit from them. Peter added: “We’ve used contacts across the community – councilors, groups, social media, sent letters to all of our members to spread the word on what we’re offering. Then people telephone the office, we take details of the shopping or prescription requests and schedule volunteers to go out and pick the items up. We’re also helping our local foodbanks when they have deliveries or pick-ups to make. This is great as we’ve never worked with them before”
I also spoke to Matt Gale, General Manager, at Buzzer Buses in Bedfordshire. They’re still running essential journeys such as urgent medical appointments and taking people to the shops, albeit in a socially-distanced way and with support from local supermarkets to make sure passengers can go straight in-store, bypassing any queues. They’re also working with their local council to collect and deliver prescriptions for those most in need. “I’m in regular contact with Central Bedfordshire Council,” said Matt, “who send one or two lists over to me on a daily basis as well as the odd urgent case that’s received on its own. Once the list is received, we call everyone on it to confirm the details are correct and when the prescription is needed for, and then send out our drivers to the relevant pharmacies, who then make their deliveries.”
“We also have a staff member in the office calling our members to check if they are ok and if they are getting everything that they need. We make sure our members who live alone are able to talk to someone.”
I am proud that, at Endsleigh Insurance Services, we are able to help these organisations in some small way through making insurance, one of the many things community transport providers have to think about, easier and less of a worry, plus providing an insurance saving. If you need any support, whether it’s to look at your insurance needs, or to ask any questions about insurance at the moment, especially if you’re running fewer or different services, we are always here to help. You can find out more here or get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0333 234 1146.
About CTA Insurance
CTA Insurance is a bespoke and discounted insurance offering available to CTA members as one of their member benefits. CTA Insurance is run partnership with Endsleigh Insurance Services, a household name and one of the UK’s leading and most trusted insurance brokers. They use their expertise and dedication, along with over thirty years’ experience and over 3,000 not-for-profit customers in the UK, to work with market-leading insurers, providing competitive coverage and expert consultation and advice for CTA members. Find out more here.
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.