Independent Travel Training hits milestone

Our programmes have just reached an important milestone: training 100 young people.

Posted: 31 Jul 2019

HCT Group’s Independent Travel Training programmes train children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) to travel independently on public transport, building confidence and independence – and improving life chances.  Our programmes have just reached an important milestone: training 100 young people.

We operate three programmes - in Lambeth, Surrey and Norfolk, working with a huge variety of young people across the school and college age range. This recent half term, thanks to the support of local councils, our great travel training team and the young people and their families themselves, we reached the massive milestone of our 100th young person to start with us.

Dai Powell, HCT Group Chief Executive said “I’m really proud of what our travel training team has achieved. This is a programme that can transform the lives of young people with SEN – independent travel opens doors to further education, the world of work, or even just meeting up with friends. I’m sure that this first 100 trainees is only the beginning.”   

This is the story of Ashley, our 100th trainee.

Ashley’s story

Ashley now travels independently after joining our independent travel training in Norfolk

When Ashley first found out about Travel Training, he was very nervous about meeting his Travel Trainer for the first time and travelling on the buses. Ashley’s parents were also nervous about the training – whilst they were supportive of the idea, it’s always a big change to allow your child to start travelling independently.

Once training had started, Ashley soon started to grow in confidence, opening up and exploring his anxieties about travel – which can help build towards the ability to travel independently long term.

One of the things that made Ashley nervous was the hustle and bustle of a busy bus with a mix of commuters and college students. He explored with his travel trainer about the possibility of using headphones while he was on the bus, but he decided that he’d go for confidence and not rely on them. Instead, Ashley decided independently he would sit downstairs where it was quieter, helping to boost his confidence. Now that the training has finished, he feels confident enough to make a choice where to sit depending on how busy the bus is.

Even though Ashley was apprehensive about talking to safe strangers and asking for help, he made excellent progress in building up the confidence to be able to seek assistance if required. This could involve talking to the bus driver to make sure he’s getting on the right bus

Using a mobile phone is really useful when travelling independently as a young person. Even though Ashley really doesn't like using his phone, he has learned how important it is to communicate when travelling. Kieran, Ashley’s trainer explained “He would ring to let me know when he left his house  and that he got to school safely. Before long he was ringing his mum and dad letting them know where he was, he still isn’t a fan of using his phone but understands how important it is to let his parents know where he is”

‘It has been amazing seeing how much more confident Ashley has become as training has progressed’

Ashley’s parents have also seen a positive progress, with his mum saying “We have been delighted to see how much more he can do by himself. We are planning some trips out over the summer using public transport to further embed Ashely’s training”

If you would like more information about our travel training programmes, visit our travel training website