The award was presented for best ‘Contribution to Sustainable Travel – Organisation 2018’, at the annual awards ceremony in Sheffield on 1st November.

Over the past six years, our independent travel training scheme has helped more than 300 young people with special education needs and disabilities make journeys by public transport, from home to school/college, and volunteering opportunities giving them the confidence to live fuller lives with increased independence.

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Sheffield City Council, said: “What fantastic news!  The wonderful work our travel training team do to work with young people to help them gain new experiences, travelling independently to school, college or work, to enjoy leisure facilities and become a part of their local communities has been recognised with this national award.

“Many young people with physical or learning difficulties find travelling on public transport very daunting.  Travel training teaches invaluable life skills and helps them to become more confident and independent.

“Working with external partners such as the Princes Trust we have been able to offer young people new experiences such as travel training to work placements and work experiences.  The travel training team also extended the summer work experience programme to include work experience at Pitsmoor Adventure Playground and the English Institute of Sport.

“I know from talking to the parents and carers, they really value the hard work and dedication our travel training team put into teaching their children travel safety and helping them on their journey to independence.

“I was really impressed to hear the fantastic stories of their journey from the young people themselves at the Indie Awards Ceremony in the Town Hall too.

“I’d encourage anyone to contact the team if they would like to ‘have a go’ to travel independently.  It’s very supportive, great fun and it can change lives!”

Case Study: Dean

Dean, 23, never went out of the house, and had very little experience in travelling on public transport.  His days would be spent in the house on his play station or watching television.  He wanted to attend a course about the media at Hallam FM but was extremely anxious about how he would get there.

One of our travel trainers started to work with Dean on a daily basis looking at the route, practising road safety and making sure he was fully aware of his own personal safety.  Eventually Dean was able to start to relax and managed to complete the journey on his own, and get to the venue in a good frame of mind to start working.  Doing travel training not only enabled him to access Radio Hallam, but also built his confidence and made him realise that there were opportunities out there that he could reach.

To find out more about our travel training for children and young people call 0114 2053542 or email Indetravel@sheffield.gov.uk