SOCIAL ENTERPRISE NEWS
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
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
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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