Natascha’s story: “Our community buses get people to hospital”
There was a time recently, when if you were older, disabled or struggling for money in the Bournemouth area, it was very difficult and costly to get to your healthcare appointments. There was a lack of suitable public transport to local hospitals, and taxis were prohibitively expensive and inaccessible.
That’s why in 2015 we set up our own community transport service. We provide affordable, accessible flexible transport, based on what the community needs. In our case, this has meant helping people socialise and run errands, and most importantly get to hospital appointments and, during Covid, visit vaccination centres.
The Community Power Act would support the most vulnerable disadvantaged people in the community.
What’s stood in your way?
Funding has been our biggest obstacle to ensure a sustainable service to the community. We, the community, need more control on where funding should be directed within local councils.
What difference would a Community Power Act make?
The Community Power Act would support the most vulnerable disadvantaged people in the community. The Community Right to Shape Public Services and the Community Right to Control Investment would mean our community’s real and intense need for a more cost-effective and accessible community transport service would get the attention and funding it requires. This would reduce the risk of ailments leading to emergency hospitalisation, which in turn reduces the added financial burden to the UK’s health system. This would in turn address the problems of inequalities, loneliness and mistrust within our communities.
Natascha McAllister, Bournemouth