Dorset Community Transport (DCT) charity is celebrating 10 years in the community. Based in Blandford Forum DCT’s community mini busses have helped 100,000 people access transport they need, meaning they can make their lives better by meeting friends and family, and crucially get to their doctor and hospital appointments.
Tim Christian, General Manager at Dorset Community Travel says: “We're thrilled to have been adding value to people’s lives for the last 10 years. Access to travel is often denied to many in rural locations or those who can’t confidently access public services, and as bus routes continue to feel the squeeze we can step in and help those with no access get to where they want to be.”
Staff at the charity celebrated with a cream tea at the The Purbeck Hotel and a classic railway journey. Many of the 35 drivers have been with the charity for a decade, helping locals, and providing a life-line to essential services for them.
As well as working with the local council providing contracted essential transport for residential homes, and schools the charity is a pioneer of direct request travel meaning that anyone who meets the simple criteria can book a lift with them. The service runs like a regular bus service, picking up people along it’s route, but instead of waiting at a bus stop, we will come to you.
Simon explains: “Our community mini bus service is designed for people who can’t use public transport, or their own, for example they aren’t confident or have mobility requirements, or simply need some extra support to help them start their journey. There’s a simple online form to complete or you can call the office to see if you qualify to join the scheme - while it’s not a free service you can travel anywhere in our area for £5, and you can bring a companion too. You’d be surprised how may people out there don’t realise how we can help them, we’d like to change that.”