29 November 2017

A travel training scheme provided by Sheffield City Council, that supports people with learning disabilities to travel independently, has won a national Modeshift award.

The award was presented for ‘Best sustainable travel initiative’ in the education category, at the annual awards ceremony in Sheffield on 9 November.

In the past eight years, the schemes (one in Adults services and one in Children and Young People’s services) have helped more than 700 people make journeys by public transport, from home to school, volunteering or employment, giving them the confidence to go out by themselves and live fuller lives with increased independence.

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families at Sheffield City Council, said: “This award is a fantastic achievement for our travel training services. They work very hard to support young people with learning disabilities to travel independently, something that many of us take for granted. People who take part in the training receive a bespoke service for as long as necessary until they have the knowledge, skills and confidence to travel alone.

“We want everyone in Sheffield to have choices about their lives and following travel training, young people and their families have told us how it has changed their lives for the better giving them opportunities to do the things they want to do.

“Our teams have shown such dedication to helping these families and this award demonstrates what a valuable difference we can make. I’m very proud of our teams and everyone who has been trained, and I hope many more people will get in touch so we can help them on their journey to independence.”

Chloe, a 20 year old student with learning disabilities, has worked with her travel trainer Elizabeth to gain confidence and knowledge to plan routes and hop on a bus or tram to meet her friends in the city centre or go shopping at Meadowhall.

Elizabeth travelled with Chloe from her home in Gleadless to the city centre on the bus, and to Meadowhall on two trams so she could go out with friends or go to the cinema without relying on her mum Lynne.

Chloe said: “I am so pleased that Elizabeth and the travel training team have won this award. I feel much more confident since working with Elizabeth and it’s great having my own independence now. My mum gets a break too which is great.”

Chloe’s mum, Lynne, added: “I think the travel training team are worthy winners of this award. Chloe can now travel to her Grandad’s work place on her own which means she can get to her family in an emergency which is such a relief. Elizabeth and the team have given Chloe a new lease of life in many ways.”

Travel training for children and young people Indetravel, the council’s training scheme for children and young people, has been operating for eight years and helps children aged 11 – 19 travel independently to and from their place of education.

Working with students on a one-to-one basis, Indetravel teaches young people to cross roads safely, plan journeys, how to travel on buses and trams, stranger awareness, looking after belongings, timetables and what to do in unexpected situations. The team work closely with schools, colleges and parents to ensure these young people can go on to explore the life and career opportunities that they’re interested in.

To find out more call 0114 2053542 or email Indetravel@sheffield.gov.uk

Travel training for adults Travel training for adults has been offered by the council’s Learning Disability Service for the past four years and has helped more than 400 people.

Many young people who were trained by the Indetravel service transfer to the adults team as they continue their journeys in to adulthood.

The service is available for people aged over 18 years old and teaches them to get around and go to all the places they want to go, whether that’s college, work, voluntary roles, community centres or simply shopping, visiting friends and family or going to the cinema.

To find out more call 0114 273 4908 or email LDWrapAround@sheffield.gov.uk