• Case Studies: Tackling Loneliness with Community Transport in England

  • Community Transport remains a lifeline for people who are socially isolated and experiencing loneliness, by fostering meaningful connections and restoring their sense of belonging.

    CTA funded 18 pilot projects across England. The pilots worked collectively, delivering a range of schemes to build an evidence base demonstrating how CT helps communities that are disproportionately affected by loneliness. The pilots included supporting people to access transport and recruited volunteers to have a role in delivering CT.

    The baseline data shows a difference in levels of loneliness in rural and urban areas.
    • Overall, people in rural areas showed lower levels of loneliness, with only 11% feeling lonely often/constantly compared with 20% in urban areas. ​
    • 61% of rural respondents felt that accessing CT positively impacted their feelings of loneliness, isolation and companionship​.

    Download the summary of data here.

    Here are the case studies gathered by the pilots.

    Martin is a volunteer driver for Age UK Trafford and has been involved as part of Tackling Loneliness project – “I volunteered to drive for Age UK Trafford’s ‘Out & About’ trips on a Monday. Once started, and after a few weeks, the numbers increased from just a few users to most weeks a full bus. Read More
    Paul started volunteering for Bassetlaw Action Centre after hearing about their lunch trip scheme where residents in Bassetlaw are taken to a local pub, café or restaurant for a chance to eat together and socialise. Read More
    The Beacon Centre’s involvement in the CTA Tackling Loneliness Project has seen them transport more people to a broader range of activities enabling them to build social connections, increase their confidence and improve their independence, while reducing feelings of loneliness. Read More
    According to Beverly Community Lift, the TL project has helped people to feel more connected to their community and make new friends. Volunteers have been given a fresh
    new purpose following retirement. Keeping people active for longer has been so beneficial to people in our communities. Read More
    Community First organised a training workshop designed for anyone interested in engaging with members of their community with the aim of creating or supporting existing projects. The workshop covered the foundations of Community Organising and Listening Training, including tools to recruit new volunteers and create new ideas for their groups. Read More
    Ethan is a man in his mid-40s who has been attending Compaid’s training centre for several years and uses Compaid’s accessible transport to reach the Paddock Wood centre in Leeds, every week. Due to his cerebral palsy, he cannot drive and requires a walker to move around steadily but gets tired quickly after walking for some time. Read More
    Sarah started volunteering with DAD just as the project was starting and has remained an active volunteer throughout the programme. Sarah was a college leaver at the time and was looking for opportunities to further develop her skills and knowledge in supporting disabled people. Read More
    Derbyshire CT worked with Links CVS and  BAME partners to help their members become more involved in the community and to reduce loneliness. One of the trips was providing transport for 138 members of various BAME communities to Carsington Water for a day of recreation and fun activities. Read More
    This case study assessed the effect of the TL Project on Maria Fontes, an 83-year old participant with difficulty accessing weekly community sessions. Maria highly values social interactions and recognizes the importance of community engagement for her overall well-being. However, transportation challenges and her limited mobility had hindered her regular attendance at community sessions, resulting in feelings of isolation and loneliness. Read More
    Nidderdale CT identified that there was a need in the Nidderdale area for Community based transport, especially aimed at Lonely people Isolated in the rural area. The Area itself is extremely large but very sparsely populated and for some people their neighbours could be a mile or two down the road. There is also a lack of public transport in the area as well. Read More
    Having sat on the Poole GP Link Worker forum and after multiple requests to start a lunch outing for the Poole residents, SEDCAT was able to offer transport services in a new Geographical area with the TL funding. They also recruited 10 new volunteer drivers. Read More
     SWAN is a small rural based charity providing community Transport to isolated people in Bath and Northeast Somerset. We have a stalwart team of volunteer drivers, who use their own vehicles, providing a door-to-door transport solution for medical appointments, clubs and social activities, shopping trips and visits to family and friends. Read More