The Bus and the Community

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
    • fund-raising
    • 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.

The Winner

Fundraising in FirstGroup's North regionFirstGroup UK Bus North Region, Charity in the Community

FirstGroup has created an innovative Charity Committee in North England. Front line staff, including bus drivers, lead the drive to engage with local communities and choose worthy causes to receive charity donations from FirstGroup. As a result, some £75,000 has already been distributed. The project has been led by a team of eleven staff, who have injected energy and enthusiasm into it, and have made it such a success.

The judges were very impressed by the comprehensive approach and the involvement of front-line staff in both fund-raising and decision-making. The sums raised and distributed were impressive and will make a real difference to the communities served by FirstGroup.

The Runner Up

Arriva the Shires, Arriva the Shires & Keech Hospice Care

For over 15 years, Arriva has been a supporter of the Luton-based Keech Hospice. The hospice cares for adults living in Luton and South Bedfordshire and children from across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes. The support given by Arriva and its employees has taken many different forms including cash (around £850 a month is donated by staff members), marketing support, transport services and support for special events.

The judges were full of praise for the long-term commitment shown by staff and company to this very worthy cause. The range of support – from regular cash donations through to support in kind and staff time – was impressive.

Highly Commended

One of First Cymru's projectsFirst Cymru, A bus company working with its local community

Over the venues, FirstGroup has actively and consistently engaged with various community groups throughout South and West Wales. Together, the staff and the company haveraised money for charities, taken part in sponsored walks, bike rides and mountain climbs. They even turned a bus pink to support Cancer Research Cymru's efforts to turn Swansea Pink during an Awareness Month.

This was another example of a local company and its staff positioning themselves at the heart of the community they serve, and the judges felt that the hard work and commitment shown was worthy of the highest praise.

The library bus in GreenfordFirst London, The Greenford Library Bus

As part of First London's commitment to the community, staff from Greenford Depot had already volunteered to help re-paint the Chatsworth Primary School's classrooms. When Head Teacher David Wright mentioned that, following a redesign, the school would have no library facility, First London's Depot General Manager Raj Chadha came up with the idea of a bus to provide the facility. Staff volunteers and suppliers converted a redundant FirstGroup bus and the school provided tables and shelving. The bus was formally opened in May 2012.

The judges praised this innovative and eye-catching scheme, which helped solve a particular problem at Chatsworth Primary School: it demonstrated original thinking and real hard work by all concerned to deliver the scheme.

Launching the Disability Partnership in WarringtonNetwork Warrington, Supporting the community through partnership and innovation

Network Warrington is proud to support the local community through partnership with many organisations, including the Warrington Disability Partnership, the Poppy Appeal and the Warrington Peace Centre, set up in the aftermath of the IRA bomb in the town in 1993. The company supports the valuable charitable work of its staff through time off, kit sponsorship and promotions. In 2012, the company took this a stage further, setting up the Network Warrington charitable foundation. This will have its own budget, and a board drawn from the company and its workforce.

The judges commended the commitment shown by the company to its involvement in charity and community work within its local community – cementing the already strong relationship between the town and its own local bus company.

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.).

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