RDAC Hull, a Driving Mobility assessment centre, is successfully signposting from its HUBs services to local community transport to keep elderly and disabled people mobile.
Supported by The Department for Transport, Driving Mobility is the charity that accredits a nationwide network of driving assessment centres. These centres primarily provide fitness to drive assessments for elderly and disabled self-referring drivers and individuals signposted from the DVLA, Motability, Police and NHS. RDAC is one of these 20 centres with a network of locations including one based in Hull. RDAC Hull also operates as a ‘HUBs’ centre which aims to broaden information and guidance regarding accessible travel for people who are unable to drive. This service is in response to the Government’s ‘A connected society’ strategy which aims to tackle the growing issue of loneliness and other initiatives such as The Department for Transport’s Inclusive Transport Strategy.
Complementing existing driving assessments, these additional resources focus on reducing social isolation through more effective use of accessible transport and greater independent mobility. Each HUBs centre, such as RDAC Hull, aims to deliver a ‘one-stop shop’ approach to providing viable options for elderly and disabled non-drivers – ranging from information on accessible public and community transport through to mobility scooters and wheelchairs. This service has led to a new partnership between RDAC and Beverley Community Lift which is now actively opening up more transport opportunities in Yorkshire.
Established in 1970, Beverley Community Lift is a community transport charity which supports around 350 locals who are unable to access the community due to mobility difficulties. The service has five mini-buses and a fleet of privately owned cars which are driven by 50+ volunteers, many with official MiDAS training. These volunteers provide multiple lifts each week including shopping trips, social outings and transportation to medical appointments. This support is vital for so many in the area who may have had their driving licence revoked or have chosen to stop driving. Despite the charity being self-funded, journeys are very low cost for passengers and a helping hand is provided from doorstep to destination.
Kirsty Flint, Specialist Occupational Therapist at RDAC Hull comments: “We are delighted to be working closely with Beverley Community Lift and have already seen results. For example, our signposting and joint work led to several local ladies being able to attend Older People’s Partnership Events in Cottingham and Hessle. Without our collaboration, this would not have been possible and highlights how, by working together, we can make a real difference in terms of reducing isolation.”
A key priority for HUBs is to link up all modes of transportation assistance so seamless mobility is possible. In the example of community transport, co-ordinating with ShopMobility UK centres provides an advantage to passengers as they can transfer to a scooter or wheelchair on arrival. Driving Mobility operates all official ShopMobility centres across the UK, hence RDAC is keen for organisations such as Beverley Community Lift to liaise with this equipment hire providers so ‘the final mile’ can be achieved.