The program involves matching volunteers with residents of Crawley who live with mild to moderate dementia and need assistance with getting around. This will help local residents maintain a level of independence and provide respite for loved ones/caregivers.
Volunteers may accompany the client on a bus or train to visit friends and family, go shopping or go to medical appointments, which would normally require a designated caregiver. Volunteers can devote as much time as they wish to being a “friend”.
The program will be coordinated by Community Transport Sussex, which will provide training and protection for volunteers.
Travel Buddy co-ordinator Sam Swanson said: “We are working with local healthcare providers, community groups and Crawley Borough Council to identify where the greatest need for this exciting new program is.”
Community Transport Sussex is the largest and one of the oldest community transport providers in West Sussex. The charity has six accessible mini-buses in Crawley based at the Charis Centre. With over 2,500 members across the county, the service provides accessible transportation to anyone who needs it.