ECT Charity provides a wide variety of services in the communities where we work – each based on an unmet local need with the aim of making a difference to people’s lives.
Every community in the UK is enriched by a spectacular array of voluntary and community groups, building the fabric of our way of life – from disability charities to youth orchestras, from religious groups to the Brownies, from social clubs to sports teams. These groups are as diverse as the communities we serve – some perform vital services, others bring people together, all are essential for thriving communities.
Our Group Transport service is a low-cost alternative to minibus hire for voluntary and community organisations including charities, social groups and schools, helping their members to travel together for their shared purpose. Group Transport means that groups that travel regularly do not need to fundraise for a minibus, that occasional users have access to a low-cost minibus – and groups that need greater accessibility can ensure all their users can travel together.
We provide Group Transport in each of our locations – in Cheshire, Dorset and Ealing. The service includes a professional, uniformed driver who has received MiDAS (Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme) and first aid training, and has been cleared by the Disclosure & Barring Service. In Ealing, we can train a group volunteer to drive instead, providing MiDAS training to enable this.
ECT Charity provides door-to-door journeys for people unable to use mainstream public transport due to mobility or other difficulties, or because ordinary public transport or other services have been withdrawn from their area.
People can use door-to-door transport for a wide variety of reasons, such as shopping, attending lunch clubs or healthcare appointments, visiting friends and family, and going on organised day-trips to local attractions. Each service aims to improve service users’ access to services and help to tackle loneliness and social isolation.
The services come in a variety of forms, each based on a particular community need:
Day Trips: Offered as social outings for PlusBus members or others who have challenges accessing transport or have mobility difficulties, our day trips in Cheshire and Ealing aim to tackle social isolation and bring people together.
PlusBus for Health: An Ealing-based service that helps patients travel between their homes and GP surgeries. Commissioned by North West London Integrated Care Board, the service aims to reduce the number of GP house calls and missed appointments, while improving the wellbeing of patients by offering them an opportunity to get out of the house and have chats along the way.
ECT Charity also provides services commissioned by Local Authority partners under contract. Each service we operate under contract provides a public benefit in its own right and falls within the scope of ECT Charity's charitable objectives. Services include:
Local bus services: In Dorset, we operate a variety of local bus services that otherwise would not run, helping to tackle rural social isolation.
Adult Day Centre: In Cheshire and Ealing we operate a number of services taking adults with a variety of needs to day centres. Each of the centres we work with provides a vital service to their users, providing engaging activities, respite for careers and social inclusion.
Dial-a-Ride: We operate various London Dial-a-Ride routes on behalf of Transport for London. London Dial-a-Ride provides door-to-door transport for people who find it difficult to use public transport.
MiDAS Training: The Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme (MiDAS) training is the nationally-recognised standard for people who need to drive a minibus. Administered by the Community Transport Association, the training is for individuals and organisations wanting to improve passenger safety and comfort – and build driving skills and confidence behind the wheel. The ECT Charity course is delivered by our experienced in-house Driver Assessor Trainers.
PATS Training: The Passenger Assistant Training Scheme (PATS) is the nationally-recognised standard for those who provide care and assistance to passengers travelling on the road, whether in minibuses, cars, taxis or large buses. This too is delivered by our experienced in-house trainers.