Compass finds the right direction thanks to Community Champions
16 February 2022
Sunderland based Compass Community Transport, which provides minibus services, is to benefit from a £1,000 donation from Community Champions.
Eddie Ward of Compass Community Transport explains: “Our services are designed for those in need due to age, sickness, disability, poverty or because of a lack of availability of adequate and safe accessible public transport and we find this makes a huge difference to people’s lives.
“In particular, one of the services we offer is daily door to door trips to local supermarkets, which are very popular and help many of our users maintain an independent lifestyle. Our caring drivers assist passengers to board from their home and then on return by helping carry shopping bags to their front doors. For some, these shopping trips are the only opportunity they have for any social interaction and a chance to meet up with friends over a coffee or lunch in the supermarket café.
“At the moment we have around 200 people per week using the service, but we want to offer it to more. Many people, particularly wheelchair users, simply cannot cope or have the confidence to use the bus on their own and our plans are to introduce befrienders or `Bus Buddies` to stay with and help our passengers during their trip so they enjoy an improved shopping experience.
“This £1,000 donation will help us pay our volunteers’ out-of-pocket expenses for one year and go a long way to helping us establish the ‘Bus Buddy’ befriender scheme, so we are extremely grateful to Persimmon Homes Durham and Community Champions.”
Richard Cook, managing director for Persimmon Homes Durham, added: “The Compass Community Transport initiative is a fantastic service that makes a massive difference to those who don’t have their own transport. It means they not only have regular and easy access to get their weekly shopping done, but it also provides important contact with their friends and other bus users.
“We are pleased to be able to support them with this new ‘Bus Buddies’ idea and believe this to be an excellent addition to what is already a great service for the community.”