sponsored by EuroBus Expo 2014
This Award is designed to recognise and reward a scheme, project or other activity which, by providing benefits to local people.
The judges were looking for a scheme, project or other activity that placed the bus at the heart of the local community in the area served, and achieved one or more of the following:
- rasied funds for a local charitable project
- helped the local community to achieve an objective of its own, examples of which could include
- provision of community facilities
- other means to make life better for one or more groups of people in the community.
- provided demonstrable benefits to the staff or team and/or for their employers.
Community work is often an under-recognised element of what the industry does. The judges were impressed with how, in its second year, this award has really caught the imagination of operators with a much broader approach to community initiatives, rather than just charity efforts which were so much a part and parcel of the 2012 entries. This year’s entries demonstrated a very wide range of community initiatives and many were of very high quality, again creating difficult decisions for the judges. Because the entries were over such a wide range, this made it all the more difficult for the judges to compare individual extremely worthwhile submissions meaning not all very deserving ones could in the end be shortlisted.
Winner 2013: Go-Ahead Group – Go Learn
Go-Learn is a unique, downloadable education resource for children aged from four to fourteen and is said to exemplify Go-Ahead Group’s commitment to the local communities served by its bus and rail services. It aims to educate young people about the value of public transport in their daily lives and engage them in topics like convenience of use, safety, environmental impacts, anti-social behaviour and vandalism. The judges felt Go-Learn was well-conceived and genuinely thought-through with very clear objectives, a cohesive initiative which has significant benefits for both the community and operators of public transport.
Runner Up: First West Yorkshire – Making The Grade
First West Yorkshire was set the challenge of finding real and active ways of making the group’s business strategy ‘Better Journeys for Life’ come alive – so it has gone back to the classroom to help Leeds schoolchildren. In partnership with Roundhay High School and The Ahead Partnership it has committed to a three-year mentoring programme that benefits both the children and the First staff taking part. The judges were impressed that the scheme bridges the gap between school and adult life, a way of marrying education and business together for the benefit of both.
Brighton & Hove – Police Liaison Officer Initiative
Brighton & Hove Buses has a well-known commitment to passenger service, the company firmly believing that it has responsibility for passenger safety and safety satisfaction levels. With Sussex Police, it has developed an employer-supported policing scheme which not only serves its customers across the region but also provides a direct link between the two organisations to deal with incidents. A Special Constable, the particular bus driver is employed and paid by the company but works for Sussex Police. Since it started in 2008, this liaison has helped bring a major reduction in theft from buses, criminal damage and assault.
Lothian Buses – Go Blue For Prostate Scotland
Lothian Buses first became involved with Prostate Scotland in 2010 through the company’s Healthy Working Lives Programme. As one of twelve pathfinder companies signing up to the organisation’s workplace initiative, it provided information to staff about prostate disease. As a result, a number were diagnosed with prostate cancer, returning to work successfully after treatment. In 2012, the awareness campaign was broadened to include Lothian Buses’ passengers, including a Prostate Scotland all-over advert bus highlighting prostate disease and where to go for help. In addition to its awareness initiatives, the company and its staff have also supported a number of charity activities.
Nottingham City Transport – Clifton Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
Since the first house on Clifton Estate, one of the largest housing projects in Europe at the time, was built in 1952, NCT buses have been a familiar sight to residents providing services for them in and around the estate and the city. So NCT and Clifton residents have shared a special reciprocal relationship for all of the sixty years since. Considered as a vital lifeline by residents, NCT was keen to celebrate and thank customers for this long-term and lasting allegiance, and achieved this through contributions to numerous projects close to the heart of the Clifton community.
Stagecoach London – Bus Driver Cycle Awareness
Stagecoach London has developed a new initiative to enable bus drivers to empathise and work in harmony with those in the community who travel by bicycle; and understand how to minimise the risk whilst sharing road space with them. The company developed its own CPC Cycle Awareness training course, believed to be the first on-bike training carried out by in-house trainers within the bus industry. The judges were especially pleased to see cyclist awareness being recognised, and thought it a good use of driver CPC training especially in London where statements by the Mayor had raised the profile of cyclist safety.
Who could be nominated?
Any organisation, team or group of staff working for a bus operator or a local transport authority.
… and by whom?
Bus operators or local transport authorities were encouraged to nominate teams or individuals from within their own or other transport-related organisation who merit this recognition. Self-nomination was acceptable.
Criteria and Entry Requirements
The judges were looking for projects designed to place the bus industry at the heart of its local community, recognising staff at all grades who have undertaken a scheme, project or other activity which provides benefits to local people.
We particularly welcomed nominations from depots where staff had worked together, or from smaller teams of staff or exceptional individuals. Nominees had to have worked on a project which provided benefits to the local community through fund-raising or giving of people's time or other charitable activity.
Decisions were based on the quality of the submissions made and the extent to which they addressed the criteria. Nominations were therefore required to:
- Describe the project or initiative
- Describe how the community was involved in the development of the project
- Set out the benefits of the project to the wider community
- Set out the benefits of the project to their own company, depot or team (such as enhanced teamwork, better relationships, enhanced social life, etc.).