Dai Powell's blog
Dai Powell is HCT Group's Chief executive. Dai has been Chief Executive since 1993, leading the organisation as it has grown from a small Community Transport provider into an award-winning, large-scale social enterprise. His blog explores ideas on social enterprise, transport and related issues. Always forthright, Dai’s views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the position of HCT Group.
What it all means, part 2– Paul’s story
HCT Group provides a whole host of individual transport for older and disabled people – community bus routes, Dial-a-Ride, community cars and more. Last year, we provided over 230,000 passenger trips on these services. Behind each of these trips is a story – of lives changed and real social impact.
We asked Paul, a wheelchair user in Bristol who uses our Dial-a-Ride and community car services, about what these services mean to him.
‘Getting out and about means I get to keep my independence,’ explains Paul. ‘I’m not having to constantly rely on other people to help me in my day-to-day life. Independence is very important to me, if I lost my independence I would feel like I have lost everything.
‘I mainly use the service for food shopping, which I do weekly, and occasionally I attend doctor’s appointments or make a trip to the bank or post office. I also use the personal car service on weekends and evenings to get me out socialising with my friends. I would not see them if I couldn’t get out.
‘I love to get out of my house and meet people. I enjoy keeping regular contact with the supermarket staff who I have got to know well over the years, and also meeting up with other shoppers who have also become my friends.
‘When I book transport with the call centre team, they are always very helpful and go the extra mile to help me, always making time to have a conversation with me about what I have been doing and how I am getting on. The drivers are always very cheerful, chatty and considerate. I feel safe when travelling as they are all very conscientious when securing my wheelchair in the vehicle and continue to reassure me throughout the journey.
‘If the transport wasn’t available to me I would lose my independence and have to rely on others to try and assist me. Transport would be almost impossible as wheelchair taxis are few and far between and offer nowhere near the level of service I currently get now.’