Community transport organisation to get IT software with grant money

Horsham District Community Transport SUS-141208-153043001
Horsham District Community Transport SUS-141208-153043001

Horsham District Community Transport has been awarded £3000 by Sussex Community Foundation in its latest round of grant giving.

The grant will pay for new computers and software to improve the booking system and make more efficient use of our vehicles.

“We are delighted to have received this grant,” said David Searle, Trustee. “It means we can continue to provide accessible transport to vulnerable, disabled and elderly people, those with mobility problems and anyone who is in danger of becoming socially isolated by lack of access to public transport and we’re really grateful for the continued support of Sussex Community Foundation and its donors.”

HDCT was formed 18 months ago and took over the Dial-a-Ride service previously run by British Red Cross.

At the beginning less than 100 people used Dial-a-Ride in Horsham as the service had become unreliable. The initial consultation suggested that, if a reliable service could be established, the figure would significantly increase.

In April 2013 a Dial-a-Ride service was provided and 358 people used the facility, hitting a peak of 615 passengers in July. From May to the end of October 2013 we carried 6948 passenger journeys on all services of which 1042 were wheelchair journeys.

In addition we have an agreement to transport members of Age UK Horsham District to the Lavinia House day centre and to take those with greater needs to Challen Court for day care.

The charity has gone from strength to strength and now has 5 mini buses with wheelchair access and a Citroen Visa Dispatch vehicle which can carry a wheelchair and 3 other passengers.

We have successfully bid for West Sussex County Council contracts to transport Special Education Need children from their homes to schools. A gentleman living in an outlying village was previously transported to his day centre by taxi and usually by different drivers.

When he arrived at the centre he was very stressed and did not want to participate in any activities. Since we have take over this contract with a regular driver and escort the day centre manager and his family have noticed a remarkable change and he is now more content and relaxed.

Another service we provide is private hire to groups who are socially isolated and wish to arrange an outing with their friends to a local pub or garden centre for lunch or afternoon tea. These have proven to be very popular and we have had a number of repeat hires. Horsham Town Community Partnership hired a minibus to transport walkers during their recent Riverside Celebration Walk and have written a very complimentary letter praising the seamless service that they were given and in particular the helpful driver that was provided.

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