Spotlight on Community Transport
Tell us what you do
There are two main elements to the work we do. Firstly, we provide transport for communities in the Black Country. We provide a pickup service in order to transport groups to their desired destination. Importantly, we will also collect them and drop them home if this is necessary. This is in order to support those with mobility issues or those that find it difficult to access other modes of transport.
The second aspect of what we do involves the re-sale of re-usable furniture. At community transport we believe it is important to those from lower income families. As a result, we offer to collect re-useable furniture from people’s houses in order to re-sell these items at a low cost. The money from this will then be redistributed in order to support the transport side of our work. We also have a pick-up truck on Shidas Lane every weekend so people can donate unwanted furniture to our cause rather than dumping it at the nearby skip.
What is your proudest achievement?
We are proud to know that we have been helping families and communities for 50 years, making a difference to their lives by providing them with goods and services. In addition to this, we are proud of the links and contacts we have made with other organisations in the area, helping to support the community together.
What is your experience of support received from SCVO?
SCVO have provided us with excellent support in the past by advertising for volunteers on their website. We rely on volunteers and this method is very helpful for attracting these individuals. In the past, we have also attended events of SCVO and also awareness of a number of training sessions. One last area of support is receiving the weekly e-bulletin. This helps us remain up-to-date with what is going on in the local area.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
We’ve learnt that there is a lot of support for old and young people in the Sandwell area. There are a lot of companies and people looking to help all individuals. People are very willing to support others by helping to improve their well-being. In comparison to areas I have worked in before, Sandwell certainly has much more on offer.
What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
We are currently looking to expand our volunteer base. At Community Transport we have a number of volunteering opportunities including driving our mini-buses and as a result we are looking to secure more of these individuals. We have also recently introduced a volunteer car scheme which we are hoping to raise awareness of in order to get more individuals involved.
In terms of the challenges, one of the most difficult is recruiting volunteers who are able to drive.
How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
Training for volunteer management is certainly an area that would interest us as an organisation. This could help us to work more effectively and continue the work that we do. Another method of support would certainly be through advertising and helping us to pool volunteers among other organisations in the local area. One last area of support would be by continuing the events they hold on a regular basis. These help us to gain contacts and learn from other organisations.
Also use SCVO to support the growth of the Sandwell Network Meetings which are held monthly throughout the borough.
For more information please contact 0121 557 5633 or visit http://www.communitytransport.org