New transport help in Falkirk for people with sight and hearing issues
Two local charities have joined forces to help blind, partially sighted, deaf and hard of hearing people in the area get access to reliable transport services.
Under the agreement, Dial-a-Journey, based in Stirling will purchase and run the minibus currently operated by Forth Valley Sensory Centre.
It will be jointly branded by the two charities and provide Dial-a-Journey with a base in Falkirk as well as serving Clackmannanshire.
Dial-a-Journey will continue to support groups and classes at Forth Valley Sensory Centre with accessible transport.
The move was approved by the Centre Board and Trustees at a recent meeting.
Pat Reid, chairman of the Forth Valley Sensory Centre Board said: “The pandemic has affected lots of different areas of life, one of which has been travel.
“Maintaining a minibus exclusively for the use of Centre visitors no longer makes sense. Dial-a-Journey are specialists in accessible transport for disabled people and have been looking for a Falkirk base for some time.
“This agreement saves money for the Centre, ensures that the minibus gets regular use thus helping more people in the Falkirk area while still keeping an important transport link for centre users.”
The centre will have priority on use of the bus and will continue to provide their own volunteer drivers and escorts for its activities.
Jacquie Winning, chief executive of Forth Valley Sensory Centre, added: “Not only does this partnership provides a much more cost effective solution for both charities, it also serves our centre users very well.
“We are very aware of how isolated our centre users have felt during the pandemic and as we are gradually re-opening some services, we want to make it as easy as possible for them to come back to our groups and activities on safe reliable transport.”
Heidi Anderson, finance and service delivery manager, Dial-a-Journey added, “As a Stirling based charity serving the whole of the Forth Valley we have been keen to strengthen links with likeminded organisations in Falkirk and Clackmannanshire for some time now.
“This partnership with FVSC is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness of the service’s we deliver.”