Social transport going places

Twelve local projects are to benefit from the first tranche of £150K funding to improve access to social and health care.

The Social Transport Project, funded by the Reshaping Care for Older People Change fund and led by Aberdeen Council of Voluntary Organisations (ACVO) TSI, is spearheading the way in Scotland in terms of provision of social transport for the over 55’s.

ACVO has been working with Nestrans and researchers from Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Institute for Management, Governance and Society (IMaGeS) to set up the scheme and identify suitable projects.

Beneficiaries of the new scheme will include those attending clinics at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Alzheimer Scotland; and the MS Society.  Funding has also been provided to increase the provision of wheelchair accessible vehicles for the Co-Wheels Car Club.

At the heart of this initiative is the need to provide preventative care to allow older people to keep active and develop social networks that reduce social isolation and loneliness.  The partners hope the funded projects will help address many of the mobility challenges faced by older people in the city.

Professor David Gray, an expert in transport research and Director of IMaGeS said: “One of the most important challenges facing policy makers is to better integrate and co-ordinate transport provided by Health Care Trusts, local authorities, the voluntary and community transport sectors and bus companies themselves.  This scheme represents an important step in trying to do so.”

Joyce Duncan, CEO ACVO also commented: “ACVO is proud to be involved in this ground breaking project. Social transport is a critical factor in the Scottish Governments plans for health and social care integration. This collaborative project will guide future thinking and implementation of social transport for Scotland”.

Jonathan ShackletonHead of Communications at RGU