We have arrived! (…and other travel puns!)
Starting up the Fair Ride scheme has been a journey in itself. Fair Ride is for anyone in Leeds over the age of 50 to call us up and request a journey. We utilise volunteer drivers who drive their own cars and can offer a more personalised, disability friendly and supportive service than a taxi, while keeping the costs well down. Older people of Leeds can use the service for anything - whether it be getting to medical appointments, group activities, popping out to the shops or seeing family and friends.
Some people are not confident in dealing with taxis, find taxi services unsuitable for their needs or find the cost prohibitive. This project will help overcome some of the barriers to people getting out of the house and reduce isolation.
Our main barrier has been finding the volunteer drivers – the flexibility we offer (as well as expenses, training and DBS clearance) is suitable to many, and many have said ‘yes’, but the conversion rate has been below what we would hope for. That said we’re getting there and are delighted to have some fantastic drivers on board now. This means we’re officially up and running and booking our first rides as I write this!
Demand is steady and growing and we’ve had some great partners (some through Time to Shine) express their interest in the scheme to support their projects, as well as many individuals in the community.
It’s an independence and quality of life thing. It’s also a great way for relationships to be built over time by having a good old chat in the car.
Our biggest task now is growing the scheme and that means more drivers. With this focus, we’ll be able to support more people across our fair city and assist them in living their lives to the fullest.
If you know potential volunteers please get in touch! Phone Andrew on 0113 210 3347or email at [email protected]
Andrew Jackson Business Development Officer Association of Blind Asians
Fair Ride is funded by Time to Shine, and managed by the Association of Blind Asians (ABA Leeds).