Bus Buddies (Independent Travel Training)
Organisation type: Local Authority
Bus Buddy Training
Who is it for?
Bus Buddy Training is available for students aged 14 plus with a special educational need or disability who require assistance to travel independently to an educational establishment, resource base or work placement
How are Students referred?
SEND Students applying for travel assistance to Further Education establishments will be assessed by the SEN Transport Officer and referred where necessary
By Special Schools (the Bus Buddies work with groups of year 10 & 11 students in Special Schools)
Requests from others e.g school, social worker, SEN Casework Team, parent or carer
How does it work?
- Once referred a Bus Buddy will be in Contact
- An initial meeting will be arranged with the student and/or parent/carer and or school
- An Initial assessment of suitability will be made and an explanation of training will be given
- Bus Buddy will discuss any concerns with parent/carer
- Bus Buddy identifies and travels the walking route to the bus stop and bus journey
- Bus Buddy looks out for anything that may crop up on the journey or any landmarks to look out for when pressing the 'stop' bell
- Training is designed to make the student comfortable and reduce anxiety
- Bus Buddy will travel with the student to begin with
- Training covers – how to stop a bus, how to ask for a ticket, where to sit, how to behave on the bus and how to solve any problems (e.g. late bus or missing a stop)
- Once student is more confident the training will be through shadowing
- Student is met at the bus stop but does the journey alone. They are met again at the other end.
- Eventually they will travel alone but are shadowed without their knowledge.
- Once they are travelling completely independently regular contact is kept up for a short period to check they are ok and see if they have encountered any problems.
What are the options once training is complete?
The student can purchase a County Ticket (application available from www.somerset.gov.uk/countyticket )
All bus operators offer a range of daily tickets and most can also offer various types of season tickets at a discounted rate.
Bus Buddy Contacts for further information and to make a referral:
Tel: 07789 652831
Tel: 07919 540553