Inspirational people on the road to independence
02 June 2015
Over 30 inspirational adults with learning disabilities have been presented with awards for their achievements in travelling independently at a special ceremony hosted by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Talib Hussain. The event also featured Paralympic Sledge Hockey player, Bryan Hackworth, and took place at Sheffield Town Hall.
The group, all residents of Sheffield, were recognised for completing Independent Travel training. This is designed to help people develop the skills and confidence to use public transport on their own, and to prevent them having to rely on others to get out and about.
The Sheffield City Council initiative, funded through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund Inmotion! scheme, works with individuals to provide the support needed to take advantage of opportunities through independent travel.
Each person’s travel trainer helps to plan personalised journeys, and offers assisted learning for travel on public transport for the first time, or for continuing to travel on public transport for more than a year.
The Lord Mayor of Sheffield Councillor Talib Hussain, said: “Sheffield is such a great city that everyone should be able to explore and enjoy it. I am so proud of people who have worked hard to be independent. This group of exceptional people have learnt to overcome their fears, and the practical barriers preventing them using public transport. They started from a point of not knowing what to do and of being worried that something might go wrong.”
David Knapp, who learned to travel on public transport, said: "I have been travelling on my own on the bus for about a year now and I am enjoying travelling on my own very much. I enjoy seeing the drivers on the bus. I know some of them now and they know me. I like to have a bit of banter with the drivers."
Independent Travel training takes place over a period of time and people only move onto the next stage when ready. People can use their bus pass instead of having to rely on minibuses or taxis. They are there therefore able to lead a more independent lifestyle.