As winter draws in, we’re keeping warm by reflecting on some of the highlights from this year’s Summer Day Trips provided by ECT in Cheshire.
Our drivers took almost 400 passengers* to seven destinations – from a scenic tour along the picturesque North Wales coast to a trip to Bury’s bustling open-air market.
At ECT in Cheshire, we offer an annual programme of free summer and seasonal day trips to our PlusBus members. Registration with PlusBus is free and we always welcome new members! We offer these trips free-of-charge as part of our charitable aim to tackle social isolation in our local communities.
Getting out and about is not a simple task for many of our passengers, who often struggle to leave the house independently due to mobility difficulties. All of our drivers are highly trained in assisting passengers of all mobilities and our vehicles are fully accessible.
Our Day Trips programme brought a little summer sunshine into our passengers’ lives – a chance both to enjoy the warm weather and spend time socialising with friends old and new. In fact, many of our passengers enjoyed it so much that they joined us on more than one Day Trip this summer!
Here are a few of our favourite summer snapshots – along with some of the reasons why passengers told us they enjoyed the Day Trips this year.
“Thanks to the Day Trips, I can…
…See new places
For Jeanne Snape, the Day Trip to Snowdonia National Park – which started on the picturesque Rhug Estate organic farm and took passengers on a scenic drive along the North Wales coast before arriving at the Park – was a chance for her to see somewhere completely new.
“It was my first time in Snowdonia, and it was beautiful,” she says. “I don’t get out much, so each trip is enjoyable and something to look forward to.”
… Meet new people
“I like to be out and about – but living on my own means I don’t travel far, so these trips really cheer me up,” says Irene Robson. This year she came on our Summer Day Trip to the Manchester Museum to meet new people and visit somewhere she couldn’t get to alone.
“We visit lovely places, and the drivers are very helpful and friendly. It gives all of us something to look forward to.”
… Take a trip down memory lane
Day Trips to the North Wales coast were very popular this year – with a total of 13 full minibuses throughout the summer heading out for a day spent travelling through scenic towns and villages along the coast, followed by a trip around the beautiful Great Orme private coastal road.
“I’m Welsh, so the places we went to brought back memories of the places I knew so well in the past. Wonderful!” says passenger Olwen Dodd.
… Travel independently
Lesley and John Boylin went on a trip to Ness Gardens, where they had the chance to explore some of the 64 acres of gardens and enjoy views of the River Dee.
The pair used to volunteer at the Gardens, so for them it was a special chance to go back – and without having to call upon relatives to help. “I enjoyed getting out of the house independently without having to rely on my family,” says Lesley.
… Feel confident and safe
Brigitte and George Jewkes say this year’s trip to the North Wales coast was a nostalgic one. “We don’t go anywhere anymore, and this was a chance to see a bit of Wales again. We enjoyed visiting places we used to go to 40 or so years ago.”
They also felt safe in the care of ECT in Cheshire’s staff. “We don’t have the confidence to go on the big coaches of other travel firms.”
And what did the drivers think?
It was a matter of “all hands on deck” from the ECT in Cheshire drivers to make the trips happen this year. “Organising these Day Trips is a big job,” says Ian Dibbert, general manager at ECT in Cheshire. “And there wasn’t one person in our team who didn’t get involved.”
The drivers see first-hand how much the passengers value the experience. He says: “Drivers tell me they really enjoy being able to give people happy memories – and that passengers are always very thankful to them afterwards. We even got a round of applause on the bus from passengers on one of the Day Trips to north Wales!”
If you want to find out more about free Day Trips with ECT in Cheshire, contact 0151 357 4420 or read this leaflet for information on our upcoming seasonal Day Trips.
*ECT in Cheshire delivered 387 ‘passenger journeys’ during the Summer Day Trips programme in 2019.