We are a not-for-profit community interest company operating in the Warrington villages of Burtonwood and Winwick. A small charge is made to passengers, to cover; fuel, maintenance, training and other running costs. Our drivers and passenger assistants receive full training and are all volunteers.
We started in September 2017, using a borrowed minibus. From day one people have used our service. Passenger numbers have risen quickly.
Our dedicated team of volunteers are at the heart of all we do. We currently have 17 volunteers who drive, passenger assist and answer the phone for us. Our drivers have all received the Community Transport Association’s MiDAS training. They are all DBS checked and have a branded polo and fleece uniform, in order to maintain standards and public confidence. We are all Dementia Friends.
We help all sections of the community:
- We take workers to Westbrook and Gemini Retail Park because the regular bus service was cancelled.
- We take the local school children to sports and other events.
- We take people to day centres.
- We take people shopping, carrying their shopping to the door for them.
- We take people to hospital appointments.
Comments from our members include: “This is a lifeline to me”, “I’ve got my independence back”, “We are so lucky to have this service”
In the short time we have been operating we have purchased two buses, Bertie and Winnie, to cope with the demand. Bertie is a large, airy Iveco Daily bus which has a lift and is fully wheelchair accessible, with 10 seats. Winnie is a smaller Citroen Relay vehicle with a lift and 13 seats. It has proved to be very important to have two buses. The buses are regularly maintained, keeping them working well and safe. We often deal with larger groups and need both buses due to numbers.
We are fully insured, not just the vehicles, but have public liability and employers liability insurance. We have comprehensive policies and procedures in respect of safeguarding and health and safety. We aspire to ensure that we continue to grow this service to meet the needs of the community and to maintain the highest standards.
Interest is growing even though we haven’t really advertised the service. We are being asked to help vulnerable people in neighbouring villages, and we are also talking to Warrington Youth Club about potentially providing transport in the evening.