Transport to Health (T2H) – “Celebrating Good Practice”
by Alison Owen
Project Coordinator for the Aneurin Bevan Transport to Health project
Having re-joined the CTA in May of this year, it has been inspirational to work closely with operators across the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) footprint. The project has been running since 2021, with Age Connects Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent Car Scheme, Community Volunteers Wales (Risca), Cornerstone Opportunities, Crickhowell Volunteer Bureau, Cymru Creations (Tredegar Community Transport), Disability Can Do, Llanwrtyd Wells Community Transport, The Parish Trust, Torfaen Community Transport being supported and receiving funding to deliver this wonderful project. I’ve started by introducing myself to the partners and project participants, with the aim of familiarising myself with the projects that have been undertaken over the past 2 years and see for myself the impact made on the lives of so many. One request from operators was for us to gather together and share details about what’s worked well, what could have been better, and how we see the future of Community Transport across Gwent and South Powys. We hosted our first ‘Celebrating Good Practice’ event for the project on 18th July 2023.
We received funding from ABUHB to support the Project Co-Ordinator Role and create a funding pathway for organisations, to grow the community-led transport network and help people overcome barriers to health settings. We couldn’t have managed without the support of the Health Board and partners who have worked alongside CTA and ABUHB to deliver the project so far – huge thanks to Tracey Redwood and the team at ABUHB, also to GAVO (Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations), PAVO (Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations) and TVA (Torfaen Voluntary Alliance).
This event enabled us to share stories, hear about the experiences of operators, discuss how they have overcome issues that affect their communities, and explore their plans and ideas for the future. This wonderful transport project supports the most vulnerable in our communities to access the healthcare they need. Welsh Government plans for the future are to put people before profit and try to create a transport network that meets the needs of everyone – CT should be seen as a vital component of this transformation, especially when we consider the needs of people unable to access the mainstream transport network.
Blaenau Gwent Car Scheme travelled over 7,000 miles, recruited 11 drivers and have 100 active registered passengers. Their most active volunteer has clocked up almost 2,500 miles during the first 6-months of the year. Torfaen Community Transport have undertaken 250 passenger journeys covering more than 5,000 miles over the previous 7 months.
The aspiration is for Community Transport to receive the consistent and sustainable funding needed to deliver accessible and inclusive transport and integrating seamlessly with other transport options. We are excited to keep working with the Project’s partners to develop the next phase of this work and explore how best to keep growing a sustainable community-led transport network for all.
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.