A community transport group formed in Horsham and Crawley has won a national award.
The group - Community Transport Sussex - has been voted winner of the national Community Transport Association’s ‘Provider of the Year Award 2019.’
CT Sussex has gone from being a newly-merged charity made up of three established providers to the go-to provider of community transport services across West Sussex in just three years.
The judges chose Community Transport Sussex for their work in supporting the development of other community transport services in the area.
Demand for community transport has grown over recent years because of cuts to local bus services, particularly in rural areas.
CT Sussex was formed in 2016, when Crawley Community Transport, Bluebird Community Partnership and Horsham District Community Transport merged into one organisation.
As well as providing more than 120,000 passenger journeys every year, CT Sussex has also been proactive in supporting and developing other community transport providers in the area, and welcoming them as members of their partnership.
CT Sussex have recently supported the formation of Arun Community Transport who have become associate members of CT Sussex, while maintaining their independence.
CT Sussex has also welcomed Dial A Ride Southern Services Worthing as a new member of the organisation and are facilitating new community transport networks in the districts of Horsham, Adur and Worthing as well as having been asked to support more partnerships further afield.
The judges said they were impressed with the breadth of services offered by CT Sussex, having developed a health and social care project enabling as many residents as possible to access medical appointments, as well as projects enabling greater access to the theatre, days out for elderly people at risk of social isolation, museums, and cultural activities for disadvantaged children and their families.
The judges were also impressed with their use of a local solar farm to charge their two fully electric vehicles, as well as a current project identifying rural gaps in the county requiring additional community transport services.
Part of their nomination shared a story about a young disabled man who looked like being unable to attend his school’s summer ball because of lack of evening transport.
Two of the CT Sussex staff immediately stepped in and travelled 25 miles in their own time to get him there.