Journey Makers: School’s in for out-of-catchment kids in one isolated Dorset village!

May 29, 2019

Journey Makers: School’s in for out-of-catchment kids in one isolated Dorset village! image
Journey Makers: School’s in for out-of-catchment kids in one isolated Dorset village!

Dorset Community Transport (DCT) is committed to making journeys possible for a wide range of people of all ages – especially those living in rural and isolated areas.

So when a local school in the remote countryside got in touch to ask if we could help when their existing bus service was cut, we were keen to find a solution, as our latest Journey Makers story illustrates.

It’s morning in a small village in the heart of the West Dorset countryside, and a new day at Powerstock Primary School is about to begin.

Arriving outside just before 9am is a little green bus, packed full of energetic children from Bridport and the surrounding areas, ready to start their day of activities and learning.

As a small but thriving school in a relatively sparsely-populated part of the countryside, it’s no surprise that Powerstock regularly takes a good number of pupils from outside their catchment area.

But being isolated doesn’t make the journey to school easy for these children and their parents – particularly after public funding cuts resulted in the withdrawal of their local bus service nearly two years ago.

As a charity focused on helping people with their transport needs, Dorset Community Transport (DCT) was happy to step in when head teacher Louise Greenham got in touch.

Keen to create a solution together, they calculated that the DCT drivers completing earlier school journeys in the Bridport area could then go on to pick up the Powerstock pupils living in Bridport, and transport them to school for 9am.

Now the dedicated school bus service is approaching its two-year anniversary, and Tim Christian, general manager at DCT, has been reflecting on the value of such partnerships.

“The head teacher, Mrs Greenham, is a true Journey Maker,” says Tim. “Thanks to her initiative in getting in touch, we were able to devise a sustainable solution together in time for the start of term.”

He adds: “It’s always great to be contacted by people with a positive mindset who we can work with to turn a potential problem into a solution.”

For her part, Mrs Greenham says DCT has been a resourceful and reliable partner. “We are very proud to have a dedicated school bus,” she says. “Thanks to DCT’s ‘can-do’ approach, we were able to devise a daily return service for our out-of-catchment children. The drivers are brilliant with the children and the service has been a great success with a full bus on most days!

“The children are safely belted in for each journey and really enjoy travelling together. It has been great working with Tim Christian and his team at DCT – they are so helpful and always keep the welfare and safety of the children as their top priority.”

Our Dorset transport services are as wide and varied as the county itself! Find out more here or call us on 01258 287980 to discuss how we can help you find a solution to your transport needs.

Categories: Dorset, Journey Makers