• Tackling Loneliness Through CT Project

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    • Tackling Loneliness Through CT Project

    CTA recently secured £498,000 from the DfT Tackling loneliness through transport fund. There are three strands to our funded project:

    1. A Grants Plus programme, providing practical support from CTA, to accelerate the set up and progress of the community transport pilot projects.
    2. A Peer Network will bring pilot projects together on a regular basis to share best practice, identify learning from the projects, and draw out common themes and critical success factors from the projects.
    3. The Knowledge Building The emphasis is on cascading knowledge and learning throughout the wider network of operators in England (and across the sector as a whole).

    What we hope to gain from the project

    • a clear understanding of the support operators needs to develop tackling loneliness projects
    • a greater understanding of the effectiveness of different delivery models in tackling loneliness interventions in relation to the community transport sector
    • insight into how community transport helps reduce social isolation and loneliness amongst volunteers

    £405k will fund 18 pilot projects and support the sharing of knowledge around community transport loneliness interventions. Learning from the project could potentially help operators across the UK to unlock further resources from funders in the future.

    During June and July we received applications from CTA members to be part of this project and deliver pilot projects within their communities.

    We received 48 applications worth £1.2m and were able to support 18 of these.  The bids were assessed against the core criteria and we also worked to ensure that there was a mix of delivery models, beneficiaries and regions across England.   The information below shows the organisations and a summary of the projects that were successful.  We will now be working collectively over the next 10 months to showcase the impact that community transport can have on Loneliness.

    If you have any questions or want to link with the project please contact

    Sean Ray, Tackling Loneliness Coordinator – sean@ctauk.org


    Organisations and Summary of Pilots that are being funded

    Age UK Trafford; Awarded £13,864

    This project will collect socially isolated older people and take them out as groups to various venues e.g., to a garden centre, a café, historical building, shopping centre, activity groups etc. to get them out and about and to re-connect and socialise with peers.  It’s also an opportunity to assess them for other support such as falls prevention and benefit advice.

    Bassetlaw Action Centre; Awarded £13,882    

    BAC, in partnership with military charities, will provide transport for veterans, reconnect them with family, friends, activities and services, enabling them to make new contacts and helping them to start tackling isolation and loneliness.  They will also have access to our other transport schemes which provide flexible, fully wheelchair accessible transport for individuals and groups.

    Beacon Centre for the Blind; Awarded £32,230

    We’ll use community transport to connect people with sight loss and other disabilities with our tailored health and wellbeing activities to alleviate isolation.  We’ll enable them to access befriending support from volunteers also at risk of isolation, either directly on our buses or through an established telephone scheme.

    We’ll help people to work towards accessing loneliness support services via independent transport methods and raise awareness of the accessibility issues they may face with local stakeholders.

    Beverley; Awarded £14,710

    Expand our highly successful social outings program, to include running a second minibus per outing allowing more service users, in particular those who use walking aids or wheelchairs, to participate.

    CT Calderdale; Awarded £11,968             

    Community eCars: Bring a Friend will help people at risk of loneliness get into the habit of going out, strengthen existing friendships and make new friends. Our volunteers currently help 100+ people attend weekly/monthly community groups, clubs and activities.  Beneficiaries will travel in groups of three in a Community eCar, which supports Calderdale’s Carbon Zero target and, according to clients, is quiet enough to “have a proper chat”.

    Community First; Awarded £12,600       

    The focus of this project is to create volunteering opportunities and recruit people at risk of social isolation and loneliness, demonstrating the value of community transport in supporting not just passengers but volunteers as well.

    Compaid; Awarded £20,000

    We will offer individual and group outings to local events and venues in West Kent, with door to door transport and support at the events/venues from our trained staff and volunteers. These outings will be promoted to attendees of local day centres and residents in neighbouring care homes. Many of these individuals enjoyed outings pre-pandemic, but have lost the confidence to undertake them since. We will work with passengers, carers and health professionals to ensure these outings provide a memorable experience.

    Darlington Association on Disability; Awarded £32,462

    We aim to recruit volunteer drivers to increase availability of accessible transport to support more disabled people and carers to join in community activities.

    Derbyshire Community Transport; Awarded £34,100

    Through increasing availability of transport and access to subsidised, or free, activities for up to 10 weeks we aim to encourage and support people to build their confidence to get out and about and connect with others in their local community. In addition, we aim to deliver some group transport to particularly encourage young disabled people who are isolated to meet new friends and enjoy new activities.

    Merton Community Transport; Awarded £34,997

    Will work with Merton Connected to enable several different organisations to work together to empower their members most impacted loneliness and isolation to integrate back into society.  Its main focus is to help people overcome the fears that prevent them from going back out into society, engaging in activities, and meeting their peers, through the use of accessible minibuses, that enable people to make the required transition that helps reduce the loss of social contact, by developing a friendly and supportive service.

    Mojatu Foundation; Awarded £29,920

    Provide more effective and efficient transport to families and individuals especially those the racially disadvantaged, those living in hostels and hotels including refugees, asylum seekers, those in emergency accommodation and safe homes thereby helping them to engage in activities such engagement, accessing services, festivals, and outdoor activities in Nottingham city area. It will also support transport to the country thereby participating in edible woodland activities, volunteering, and linking with local communities in and around NG13 thus enabling them to connect, link and communicate with one another reducing isolation, loneliness, and disengagement.

    Nidderdale Community Transport; Awarded £25,668

    Our pilot will use a brand-new community minibus to connect people with each other and the environment though providing regular trips to local market towns and local activities, and day trips to places of interest within and beyond the local area. A Befriending through Transport Coordinator will research and facilitate the journeys as well as recruit additional volunteer drivers and befrienders. Our aims are to enable local people who are socially isolated to become less lonely and more connected to their local area through forming new friendships, and to promote their wellbeing through taking them to interesting and useful places

    North Norfolk Community Transport; Awarded £10,016

    We will expand and adapt the provision of our existing wheelchair accessible transport to support anyone suffering from loneliness and isolation, enabling them to reach the people and places that connect them with the outside world. Most of the funding for the current service exists for medical trips, but not for tackling loneliness. We receive regular requests informing us of a huge unmet need for wheelchair accessible car transport so that people can get to the places that combat their loneliness and connect them with loved ones, friends or social events.

    Otley Action; Awarded £24,000         

    Many older men in the area are socially isolated and are reluctant to engage with the wider community for a multitude of reasons.  We want to address this by identifying, why this is and encouraging engagement and participation. Once engaged the aim is to set up a men’s support group which will facilitate trips and outings for social and cultural opportunities. From experience we have observed that interactions that lead to friendships are often formed and developed whilst travelling from one venue to another and this is part of what we aim to facilitate.

    SCA Transport Services; Awarded £20,000

    Travel Buddies is for older people, carers, and people with a disability in Southampton who live alone, want to get out more or miss the company of other people. The tailored service helps people to regain their confidence and start accessing transport solutions again in order to engage in activities and reconnect with their local community. Travel Buddies are trained to support people in learning to identify the right travel solution (i.e. Dial-A-Ride, public transport, private hire), how to choose the right bus route to access services or leisure activities, where to wait safely and how to recognise destination landmarks.

    Sedcat; Awarded £30,000           

    Re-connecting the community has never been more important since the pandemic. People have had to isolate and distance themselves from one another. During the pandemic Sedcat lost many volunteer drivers for fear of catching the virus and as the responsibility to protect those already vulnerable was a great concern. It is with this that Sedcat aim to Re-connect the community by expanding our geographical area and so with this will embark on a campaign to source new volunteer drivers, but also targeting a new demographic – people with an intellectual/learning disability.

    South Central Community Transport; Awarded £12,660

    The initiative would sustain and deepen the impact of our ‘Wheel meet again’ project. It is designed to tackle loneliness/isolation and access issues among older people by providing a door to door transport service that will allow them to take part in activities, which we will be able to deliver at weekends, by moving from a 5 day a week project to 7 days as we have identified a gap in the provision of this kind of activity for those aged 50+ in the area.

    Swan Advice Network; Awarded £31,709            

    A project recruiting lonely or isolated young people in the 18 to 25 age group to help with our community transport service.

    They will either become volunteer car drivers, act as companions when our passengers need support in a minibus, or host our Cuppa and Chat sessions for our lonely passengers at a local café. More volunteers will mean we can expand our existing Cuppa and Chat sessions to become more regular than monthly and to accommodate those lonely passengers on our waiting list.

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