Spotlight on South Ayrshire Community Transport

Posted: 03 March 2020, in Member Spotlight

We’re delighted to be joined for our latest spotlight by South Ayrshire Community Transport, a network that carefully matches people with spare rooms with people who can help around the house. We caught up with Catriona Haston to find out more about the work they do, plans for the year and tips for other social enterprises.

What’s your social and/or environmental mission?

Our mission is to combat social isolation in all its forms by connecting people with the places and facilities they need

How do you do it?

We hire our (wheelchair accessible) minibuses to local community organisations; we take the elderly and disabled to Day Centres, Lunch Clubs, Excursions; we take young people with additional support needs to school, colleges, outdoor education and work experience; we also have an Electric Car Club for use by anyone

What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur?

The impact of social isolation is horrific in terms of physical and mental health.  Public transport provision is poor, expensive and of no use if you can’t access bus stops or use the buses.  The best way to help was to develop transport solutions that corresponded to people’s needs

What are your current projects?

Day Care Centre runs; Lunch Club Runs; Additional Support Needs; scheduled bus run x 4 days per week; MyBus service x 6 days per week; Electric Car Club; general vehicle hire

What exciting things do you have coming up?

Extending the Electric Car Club (very new venture); working to establish South Ayrshire Social Enterprise Network

Who do you want to work with more?

More of the socially isolated and people with needs not met by current transport provision – this generally means the elderly, disabled and those with additional support needs of one kind or another.  We are also looking for ways to work with the NHS on hospital transport to appointments and early discharges

What’s your biggest challenge?

Funding!  Dealing with bureaucracy in general whether it’s in the form of local authorities, Health and Social Care Partnership or the NHS; getting in contact with the people who most need our services – social isolation is, by definition, isolating.  Sufferers don’t look for and are reluctant to accept help.  It takes courage.

What’s your biggest challenge?

Funding is our biggest challenge, to meet the user/non user needs and sustainability goals.

What top tips would you give to other social enterprises?

Keep networking; join social enterprise support organisations – it’s amazing how much help you can get (and reciprocate) from the contacts you make.  Good to share problems and issues too.  Try to make friends with your local council and always keep your mission front and centre of what you do

For more information about South Ayrshire Community Transport, please visit their website and make sure to follow them on Facebook to keep updated with their work.

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