A big congratulation goes to Kai and Milly, who attend Bridgwater and Taunton College on finishing their travel training.
Both students have gained excellent tutoring from our expert travel trainers Tony and Jane.
The Somerset Independent Travel Training Scheme was established in 2003, as part of the county’s SEND provision. It is dedicated to supporting young people aged 14 -18 to gain the skills necessary to travel independently to school, college or accessing the wider community including work or leisure.
The training team is highly motivated with a high success rate based on a thorough one to one training program unique to each child and includes free bus travel whilst training.
We were really lucky to see Kai and Milly collect their awards and ask a couple of questions about their experiences of the training.
Before you did your travel training, what did you find difficult about traveling to college?
Kai said: “Getting a ticket on the bus, because I couldn’t feel like I could ask for a ticket. But now I have an app on which I can buy a ticket and use it for the whole month.”
Milly said: “I have got the wrong bus before which can make me feel nervous.”
How did Tony help you to feel more confident about traveling to college?
Kai said: “Tony helped me to ask for a ticket and press the button at the right time and to get the right bus”
Milly said: "I sometimes have trouble with my debit card working which Tony helped with.”
Both Milly and Kai agreed that Tony’s chattiness and positive energy helped them to feel more confident on the bus especially at the beginning of the training when they needed a lot of support.
As the training progressed the young people tried catching the bus by themselves, sometimes Tony would be watching from afar to ensure that everything ran smoothly. Although Milly and Kai felt nervous about this, they always felt supported.
Milly mentioned a time when she accidentally got on the wrong bus and Tony was watching. He ran over to help but Milly had realised and got back off the bus, ready to catch the right one.
How do you feel about traveling on the bus now?
Both feel very confident about traveling on the bus now! Kai spoke about what he saw on the bus and particularly liked the view in Watchet of the harbour and cool stuff in between Milverton and Taunton.
Milly mentioned that she now feels confident to catch other buses around the area to visit family and knows to look out for the right stop.
Kai also mentioned that he would like to go on buses outside of Somerset in Cornwall to see family and would also like to travel on a bus abroad!
We would like to, again say a big congratulations to Kai and Milly and thank you for letting us interview you! We hope that you enjoy traveling to college.
The travel trainers’ approach is to collaborate with parent carers and schools to create consistent support for the child or young person. This will help to overcome any anxieties and build confidence to achieve a positive outcome.
Referrals for travel training usually come from schools, colleges or social workers but parents carers interested in their child or young person taking part in the training scheme can contact the Travel Trainers team directly.
For more information, visit: www.somerset.gov.uk/education-and-families/support-using-public-transport