ECT Charity is on a mission to end loneliness and isolation.
We do this by enabling those who are unable to access mainstream transport to venture out of their homes: whether for a shopping trip or doctor’s appointment, or an excursion to the seaside.
There are lots of people who work hard to make these journeys possible. Our Journey Makers series shines a light on them – from our well-trained, caring drivers to the community members who organise transport for local groups.
This time we hear from Journey Maker Suzi, who discovered that finding suitable transport to take her mother-in-law Ginette from Bournemouth to Devon, was no easy task.
Ginette had recently broken her leg, meaning that, as well as requiring a wheelchair, she would need extra support when getting in and out of a vehicle. Suzi had contacted various local transport services, but none were able to help.
Eventually, she made the journey possible by contacting Dorset Community Transport (DCT).
DCT, which is part of ECT Charity, not only provided a suitable vehicle for Ginette and her wheelchair, but also a driver trained in caring for passengers with a range of mobility difficulties.
Stories like these demonstrate that it is often organisations like Dorset Community Transport which step in when individuals slip the net of statutory provision. Suzi explains:
“I was struggling to find transport for my mother-in-law, who was being discharged from an NHS facility in Bournemouth and moving to a care home in Devon, to be nearer to her family.
“She had broken her leg badly and needed the assistance of at least two people to be transferred anywhere. Taking her in my car was not an option, as I am a part-time wheelchair user and would not have been able to assist in supporting her.
“I contacted various transport providers but was having no luck. My mother-in-law was not entitled to an NHS ambulance because the journey would be inter-county, and while my local transport organisation did have suitable vehicles, they couldn’t provide a driver to assist.
“In the end, I gave Dorset Community Transport a call, who thankfully were able to help us. I was told that we could be provided with a wheelchair-friendly vehicle, as well as a driver who could help her get in and out.
“I am not sure how we would have got my mother-in-law to Devon otherwise. It was a brilliant service, and I am extremely grateful for their help.”
Photo: Ginette with her son Alan.
Do you know someone who needs help getting around? Find out more about Dorset Community Transport here.