This December, ECT in Cheshire passengers were offered day trips to a range of festive destinations across the region.
From Christmas shopping in Bury Market and Bents Garden & Home Store, to a scenic trip to the beautiful North Wales town of Llangollen, the day trips were a chance for people to enjoy themselves and make friends, safe in the care of our highly trained drivers.
ECT in Cheshire provided these day trips for free to registered PlusBus users, as part of its charitable activities and benefit to the community. The outings meant a less lonely winter for passengers this year, many of whom struggle to leave the house independently, particularly in cold weather.
We talked to some of the passengers after their day trips, and devised this recipe for a less lonely winter:
Take one portion of friendship…
The day trips enabled passengers – many of whom live in isolation – to see old friends, as well as make new ones.
Speaking on behalf of her brother Mark, who is a regular PlusBus passenger and who went on the trip to Bents Garden & Home Store, Pauline Linegar said:
“Mark used to use taxis, but I always worried that he was on his own. With the day trips, I know that he is safe with the caring staff, as well as being with his friends on the bus.
“It’s nice to know that he isn’t alone, especially at Christmas time. I know he really enjoyed his trip to the Bents Garden centre.”
… and mix in mobility…
For those who find mainstream public transport challenging, it can be tempting to stay indoors over the festive period. The day trips enabled passengers to get out and socialise without worry.
Mr Hayes said: “Without ECT’s service, I would be able to go hardly anywhere. But this year I went to scenic Llangollen and enjoyed it very much. This bus is godsend for me – so thank you, ECT.”
John Hubbard, who joined one of the Bents Garden centre trips, said: “I have a disability and no car, so I struggle to get out of town. The day trip enabled me to travel further than I usually can this Christmas.”
… add care…
ECT in Cheshire’s caring drivers ensured all passengers felt looked after when they left their homes this winter.
Mrs Hackney, who went on the Bury Market and Bents Garden centre trips, said: “Your day trips are great. I use a wheelchair and am made to feel very safe on the bus, thanks to the helpful drivers.”
John Hubbard added: “What a nice bunch of people the drivers are! Not only are they helpful, but they are very kind indeed.”
… sprinkle on independence…
The day trips were a chance for passengers, many of whom have to rely on family or friends to help them get out of their homes, to regain some independence this winter. Some even managed to do some Christmas shopping!
Mrs King said: “The trip to Bury Market was wonderful. I would struggle to get there without these trips and it was very enjoyable.”
Hillary Hall, who went on both Bury Market and Bents Garden centre trips, said: “I managed to pick up some bargains on our trip to the market!”
… and don’t forget the fun!
Pauline Linegar added: “The driver Michelle was excellent and made everyone welcome. It was such fun spending time with everyone on the bus, as well as having all the buses travelling together in convoy. Both Mark and I are looking forward to ECT’s next round of day trips!”
The day trips were free to Cheshire’s existing and new PlusBus users. If you or someone you know needs help getting about, you can find out more about the PlusBus service here.
You can read the leaflet for our Winter 2018 day trips here. We will provide information on the next series of day trips in due course!