What did we learn? And what next?
We came away from the Community Transport Association Conference completely inspired and very much in awe of those who volunteer for the CTA, the good deeds that they do, and the many obstacles they face in doing so.
We learned a lot about these volunteers. The kind, selfless people who give up precious free time, usually in addition to ‘proper’ jobs, to create accessible and inclusive transport services for those who really really need it. These ‘passengers’ people who may not have access to something which for most of us is a basic facility or service. The volunteers of the CTA offer a lifeline. But this good work is almost invisible in society, going ahead unnoticed, every day.
We heard stories. Stories about those in rural areas who rely on community transport to get to vital hospital appointments or other medical services. We heard inspirational stories such as that of a busy mum of two who set up a community transport service in very remote West Scotland, fighting and challenging policies and regulations along the way. We heard stories of hope. Of pilot schemes. Of potential funding. Of ideas.
So, what do we at Novacroft think and feel now that we have been fully immersed into this world?
We think that those who do good really must be rewarded. What if, as business owners and influential people in the transport industry, we could get together to really make a difference? What if we realised our responsibility to collaborate and create one combined voice to reward and recognise those who do good. What if, together, we could help the CTA lean up and get fit for business. What if we could get the volunteers and passengers of the CTA feeling valued? What if they could have their say, be heard, let their views be used to make changes which have passengers at the heart?
We want to impact on what is happening today, as well is in the future. And we know that collaboration will equal a better transport system.
So this is an appeal. What if we could get other organisations involved? We would like to form an army of those who are interested and influential in the value of community transport in the UK, the uniqueness of this, the positive messages around access and inclusion, future-proofing and change. Please get in touch. Join the debate….