Our social mission is to enhance people’s lives, provide opportunities and bring people and communities together – helping to alleviate isolation and loneliness. Our social mission shapes everything we do from our strategic approach to our day-to-day concerns. Transport makes a real difference! We believe in the power of transport to take down the barriers to access for the most vulnerable in our society. It is no overstatement that transport is the means by which the most marginalised can access jobs, education, healthcare and even the simple freedom of getting out and about. Sadly, this truth is often overlooked and something many take for granted, yet it is essential to our quality of everyday life.
Loneliness and social isolation are now recognised as significant issues with a profoundly negative impact on physical and mental health. A lack of transport can exacerbate this with 36% of people who have limited access to transport in Mid Devon saying that they often feel lonely. Helping people to get out makes a difference. Amongst older people, just getting out of the house everyday has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of an early death. According to research from Age UK, loneliness is just as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes per day. Lonely people are 50% more likely to die prematurely than those with healthy social relationships.
Our Ring and Ride and Day Trip Club services not only provide an essential connection to a supermarket but equally importantly, the chance to socialise and catch up with each other, often our members form strong bonds and become friends that stay in touch on a regular basis, not only using our services but via telephone too.