Sophie Fullerlove, director of The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre, talks about a new scheme to help elderly residents travel
For elderly residents in our region who want to visit The Spring sometimes the issue is not just finding the time but overcoming a variety of potential obstacles in order to make the journey.
This can be down to not owning their own transport, not being able to afford travel costs or even feeling anxious about visiting somewhere new.
With that in mind, and with some funding from Hampshire County Council and the support of Hampshire Library Service and AndiCars taxi firm of Havant, we decided to run a trial scheme in order to make The Spring more accessible to the local community.
Between January and April, The Spring is providing a free taxi service that will run from both Hayling Island library and Waterlooville library in order to transport elderly residents to specific events at our venue.
Customers who wish to make use of the service merely have to inform The Spring’s box office at the time they book for one of the events – a list of which is in the current Spring brochure or on our website, that they would like to take advantage of the taxi scheme.
After gathering at the designated meeting point, they will be met by a friendly Spring volunteer who will accompany them to and from the venue.
The hope is that we can at least make some steps towards addressing accessibility issues for elderly residents in outlying areas of the Borough who want to visit us, and give them the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and maybe make new friends.
In order to make the scheme work, we’ve recently been looking for outgoing, sociable volunteers who can act as representatives for The Spring in the role of transport co-ordinators.
Volunteers receive a free ticket to the event they are supporting and will then travel with the group, hopefully encouraging a sense of community, gathering any feedback and generally acting as a friendly face to anyone nervous about attending an event on their own.
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer on the scheme then we’d love to hear from you.
Please contact Nigel Brown, The Spring’s operations manager, on (023) 9224 9066 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.