Your Voice Counts’ Travel Buddy project is a service that supports people with learning disabilities in Gateshead to learn to travel safely and independently.
Are you a person with a learning disability? Do you want to learn to travel more independently?
Our ‘Travel Buddies’ are volunteers who have been trained to help people to:
learn a particular route
help people remember about staying safe when crossing roads or being around people they don’t know
help people to remember where to get on or off the bus or metro and how to find the place they want to get to
teach people how to cope if something goes wrong
Travel Buddies work closely with people until they are ready to start to travel on their own. Then they gradually reduce their support until the person is making the journey independently. Finally, we shadow the person to make sure that they can make the journey independently and safely.
We have taught people to travel to college, to work, to a daycentre, to town to meet with friends, even round the corner to the local shop.
“I was supported to travel Gateshead College, then a new route to Newcastle College. I loved the travel training it has given me confidence to do more things on my own.”
Are you a carer for someone with a learning disability? Would the person you care for benefit from learning to travel to a particular place without relying on someone else’s support?
Our training has helped people get jobs, get places at college, keep in touch with friends and live a more independent life.
"Thanks for supporting my son with his journey. The scheme definitely imbues confidence for those who would otherwise find public transport daunting and beyond their reach. A terrific service keep up the good work."
Are you interested in volunteering?
We want volunteers who are honest, reliable, patient, non-judgemental and approachable. Does this sound like you?
We train all our volunteers and make sure they have the support they need to help make a difference to the people we work with.
"Being a volunteer is very rewarding and gives me a lot of job satisfaction. When you start training someone to travel who has never been on a bus before, you watch their confidence grow, then when another person shadows them and tells you how well they have done it is a great sense of personal achievement. It is a lovely feeling when you see the person you have supported out and about on their own."
If you are interested in finding out more or you think you know someone who would like some help to travel, please contact Irene Storey on 0191 4786472 or email at Irene.firstname.lastname@example.org
. You can also write to us at Your Voice Counts, The Old Bank, Swinburne Street, Gateshead, NE8 1AX.