2017 The Bus & the Community Award

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This Award is designed to recognise and reward a scheme, project or other activity which has provided benefits to local people.

The judges were looking for nominations which place the bus industry (in its widest sense) at the heart of the local community in the area served, having achieved one or more of the following:

  • raised 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.

Results 2017

Winner, Gold Award

Commitment to Luton – Arriva Midlands – Luton Depot

Managers line up with local junior footballers.

Over the last two years, Arriva Midlands’ depot in Luton has contributed significantly to the community and town. Love Luton organises events that promote the positive image and cultural diversity that Luton has to offer and the General Manager has been chair of its board for five years. A strong relationship has been built with the local hospice for which Arriva provides transport for all its major events. Over the last two years, Arriva has also provided buses to enable children from schools across the town to take part in sport tournaments. The company has also supported charitable choirs, Dementia Awareness week and many other important events of all sizes and that connect different ages, groups and cultures putting Arriva Luton right at the heart of the community.

The judges were impressed with the way the Luton depot has integrated itself into its community, supporting a range of local charities and being involved in promoting the town to it residents and wider afield.

Winner, Silver Award

Youth Express – Stagecoach West Scotland

The bus converted into a mobile social club used to tour rural areas.

The Youth Express is a joint partnership between Stagecoach West Scotland, East Ayrshire Councils Vibrant Communities and South Ayrshire Councils Community Safety Partnership to provide a mobile youth club for young people from rural communities across Ayrshire. The Youth Express is also used at community events across the region and is an important facility for tackling anti social behaviour and vandalism by providing a safe environment where young people can socialise, surf the web or play the latest video games. It is an ongoing project which has been in operation for over 10 years. The vehicle is provided and maintained by Stagecoach West Scotland which also supplies a dedicated driver for the vehicle. In November last year, the Youth Express was replaced with a newer vehicle and updated with the latest technology to reflect the changing needs of young people.

Although not an original idea, the judges picked out this scheme for the quality of its execution and the benefits delivered to both sides. They noted how how it has made the depot team more cohesive and better able to deliver their job roles.

Winner, Bronze Award

Dementia Awareness – Arriva Midlands – Telford Depot

Staff from Telford help to promote awareness.

After reaching out to Arriva in Telford for support, the Alzheimer’s Society has found an enthusiastic partner for its campaign to raise awareness of dementia in the communities which it serves. Arriva immediately recognised that working closely with the charity would help it to offer more supportive and caring services to customers with the disease and their families and allow it to make a real difference in improving public understanding of this disease. The company has begun an ambitious programme to ensure that staff are trained how to recognise and help passengers suffering from Alzheimer’s as well as committing itself to helping the charity to educate the public and to raise funds to support its work.

Recognising that dementia is an increasing issue in society, the judges were impressed with the efforts made by Arriva Midlands’ Telford depot team and thought that this is something that could be replicated in other depots across the country. The judges also commented on the excellent team spirit in the Telford depot, citing its Walk-a-Wackie fancy dress sponsored walk.

Specially Commended

Imberbus – Bath Bus Company with Industry Colleagues

Properly prepared for the service - erecting the bus stops.

The idea of Imberbus came to four senior transport people while in a pub in Bath in 2008; they wanted to run a registered bus service to the most unusual place possible. The village of Imber last had a bus service in November 1943. Lying within the Salisbury Plain Military Training Area, the houses in Imber were bought by the military in the 1930s and evacuated at short notice in November 1943 to practise for D-Day. They were subsequently largely destroyed and replaced by 1970s buildings for urban warfare practise. The residents never returned and the village, with its 13th century church, is completely inaccessible except when the roads are open a few days a year. Imberbus enables access to Imber and the enjoyment of the village, church and providing spectacular images of places otherwise completely inaccessible. It is staffed by some of the most enthusiastic senior people in the passenger transport industry using iconic buses, properly blinded, with faretables, ticket machines, iBus displays, running numbers and proper bus stops. Last year over ú9,000 was raised in fares, all donated to the Royal British Legion and St Giles Church.

The judges thought that Imberbus deserved a special commendation for charity fundraising and raising the profile of the bus industry in a positive way in the regional and national press. Thousands of visitors, many of whom spend money in the local towns and villages, are drawn to this annual event only because this bus service exists.


Payroll Giving – Arriva London

Eye-catching displays for the payroll giving scheme.

Arriva London is committed to Payroll Giving and has been promoting the idea to staff for four years with posters, videos and a weekly roadshow at one of the company’s 17 London garages. Over 20% of Arriva London staff now generously give to over 160 charities each payday, and having passed the 20% mark, Arriva London has been awarded the Platinum Quality Mark by the Charities Aid Foundation.

The scale of this scheme impressed the judges, as did the high take up of staff wanting to be involved.

Titan Partnership – First Eastern Counties

Some of the students line up with Steve Wickers of First Eastern Counties.

First Eastern Counties is one of three partners in the Titan Travel Scheme which provides support and improves the lives of young people with learning difficulties and disabilities in Norfolk. The main objective is to provide support, awareness and give young people the confidence to become independent and use public transport on their own without a mentor. First Eastern Counties provides free travel on bus services in Norwich to the young people and their mentors when they sign up to the scheme. The company also provides learning, awareness and safety workshops at three schools.

The judges saw this as a good example of how a bus operator can pick up on a scheme to benefit its business and well as delivering benefits for the wider community.

Working with Young Offenders – RATP Dev London – Tolworth Bus Garage

Volunteers helping to clean the fleet.

Take a small group of young offenders, put them to work cleaning buses and removing graffiti and what do you get? Hopefully, a sense of remorse over the petty crimes they have committed and a desire to engage in life as a responsible adult. This is what RATP Dev London staff at Tolworth bus garage have been hoping to achieve through their work with the local Youth Offending Service. The young people, most of whom are from the Tolworth area, clean the buses as part of their community service, paying back in a very practical way for the petty crimes they have committed in – and against – the locality.

Whilst commenting that it was brave of the Tolworth garage to pioneer this scheme, the judges noted that it seemed to be effective and is making a real contribution tot he local community. The element of training was also noted and it was thought that other deports around the country could offer something similar.

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 organisations who merit this recognition. We also welcomed nominations from local community groups or others who may have benefitted from the project(s). 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 or about depots where staff have worked together, or from smaller teams of staff or exceptional individuals. Nominees should have worked on a project which provides benefits to the local community through fund-raising or giving of people’s time or other charitable activity.

Decisions are based on the quality of the submissions made and the extent to which they address the criteria. Nominations were asked  therefore 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
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