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Celebrating social impact in Leeds

Posted: 20 Oct 2016

Leeds Alternative Travel - CT Plus Yorkshire's Community Transport team in Leeds, celebrated the social impact they achieved last year at an event with stakeholders, service users and staff.

The event was held at Shine in Leeds - a fellow social enterprise providing conference, meeting, events and office space – giving a warm welcome to our guests, who included representatives from Leeds City Council and Lord Woolmer of Leeds.

Introduced by Christine Hewitt, HCT Group Board member, we heard from John Smart, Chief Finance Officer, who outlined our impact performance in Leeds – 42,232 passenger trips on our community group transport minibuses and 109 young people with SEN or disabled adults trained to travel independently on public transport. More importantly, he set out the difference that had made – that 84% of our service users said they felt less lonely as a result of our services, with 74% saying that their confidence had improved.

We then heard from people who could bring those numbers to life, including Ebun Edwin of Cloverleaf, an organisation that uses our Group Transport minibuses as part for their work to support homeless people in Leeds. We also heard from Klaudia Bogusz and Chris Charlton, who had participated in our travel training programme and spoke about what independent travel meant to them.

The Ginger Cat Theatre Company were also on hand to present a video that celebrates the successes of those adults with learning disabilities that have successfully completed independent travel training with us – written, acted and filmed by the service users themselves. Cast members also attended and talked about their experience - and the positive difference it had made on their life.

We were also delighted to welcome new users of our recently launched JoinBookDrive – on-street, online community transport minibus project – and new volunteers who are helping us make an impact in Leeds.

Christine Hewitt, HCT Group Board member, said “It was fantastic to hear the personal stories of how HCT’s services have really made a difference in Leeds, as these stories bring to life the dry statistics. It was also a great opportunity to say a massive thank you to HCT’s staff - who make it happen day in day out - with great empathy for their clients’ hopes and needs