Transdev subsidiary, the Harrogate Bus Company, in northern England has teamed up with a charity organization working with visually impaired people to help make travel easier for two local young people.
Amy, who’s 16, lives with her family, while 26-year-old Sam lives in shared accommodation based at Harrogate’s Henshaws College Campus, run and supported by the North Yorkshire Care Team.
Both are severely visually impaired and have had difficulties until now in using public transportation to travel across the area because of their impairment.
The local Transdev operation has now joined forces with the Guide Dogs charity, which works with blind and visually impaired people to help them live life without barriers, to run a special training session at its Starbeck depot to help Amy and Sam to practice boarding a bus, using a ticket, making a journey, and alighting at the end of a trip.
The training was led by a qualified habilitation specialist, and the successful outcome will support Amy and Sam’s applications for a Guide Dog.
We’re very grateful to everyone at The Harrogate Bus Company for their help in making this happen for Amy and Sam. Both are now more confident about using the bus on their own after practicing with support and advice from the bus firm’s own team, who couldn’t do enough to help. Being able to use the bus will open up so many opportunities for Amy and Sam – they’ll both be able to travel independently without worrying about how to manage in situations which can be especially challenging with a visual impairment.
Jessica Fawkes from Guide Dogs
When we heard about Amy and Sam, we wanted to do everything we could to help them feel more able to use our buses, and so we provided one of our buses along with our duty manager Mark Smith to support them in feeling safe while they travel with us. The benefits of bus travel should be something which everyone can enjoy, and for people with a disability, whether visual or otherwise, being able to use our buses confidently really changes their lives for the better. We’re very happy to help Amy and Sam, and we look forward to welcoming them onto our buses again very soon.
Steve Ottley, Harrogate Bus Company’s General Manager
As part of their training, drivers at The Harrogate Bus Company receive instruction on how to support customers with various disabilities as they travel, including use of lowering suspension and ramps to make boarding and alighting easier for wheelchair users, and assisting with using the dedicated wheelchair space on board each bus.
Full details of all services provided by The Harrogate Bus Company are available online at: transdevbus.co.uk/harrogate.
About Guide Dogs:
The UK charity Guide Dogs works to ensure blind and visually impaired people have the confidence and support they need to live life to the full. The organization is aiming to support half a million people by 2023. Full details of its work and fundraising are online at: guidedogs.org.uk.