We’ve joined up with our friends at Nottinghamshire County Council to help provide independent travel training scheme to inspire youngsters with special educational needs to use public transport.
Several thousand pounds worth of saver bus passes have been donated by trentbarton to students and teachers to enable easy use of our buses to get out and about.
Joshua Kennard, of Stapleford, is now a regular commuter to Foxwood Academy on i4, having previously relied on council-run support. The 17-year-old is now set to use the threesto get across town to the City Hospital, where he will be starting a job in the café through a disability employment programme.
"It makes me feel really independent," said Joshua, who has Down's syndrome. "I used to get picked up by school but now I feel more grown-up. I'm happy using public transport for anything now." Joshua, who received a gold award at a County Hall presentation in recognition of his achievements, can now go to church and the shops by bus.
"One time I was hungry, so I just jumped on the bus to the Co-op," he said. "I wouldn't have been able to do that before."
Dad Dave added: "To see the smile on his face and the spring in his step is quite moving. There is a possibility of independent living in the future, which I know Joshua is keen to do."
Joshua, his trainers and his family were recently the subject of a BBC East Midlands Today story – complete with team leader Allan Gilmour bringing a trentbarton bus along to the Foxwood Academy to allow his fellow students to educate themselves further on how to use a bus with an even greater degree of confidence.
Around 100 staff have been trained so far to support the students from three special schools in trentbarton land – Foxwood Academy in Bramcote, Derrymount in Arnold and Bracken Hill in Kirkby-in-Ashfield.