2018 Bus and the Community Award

Bus and the Community Award sponsored by Coach & Bus Week

Winner, Gold Award, Drive On – HCT Group

HCT Group believes passionately in the role of the bus industry in our communities. As a social enterprise, it seeks to go beyond laudable acts of CSR, helping to tackle serious social issues. One project, Drive On, provides a path to sustainable employment for ex-offenders as bus drivers. Sixty percent of offenders re-offend within a year of release from prison, with the biggest factor in reducing re-offending is employment, yet 75% of prisoners are released to unemployment. Drive On is a partnership between HCT Group and Blue Sky, part of The Forward Trust, specialists in working with ex-offenders. Blue Sky recruits and selects the participants, ensuring that they are appropriate for the programme. HCT Group provides the training for a full PCV licence. Participants then start work as bus drivers, with additional support and guidance from Blue Sky, during a review period, after which they are confirmed in post at HCT Group. To date, HCT Group has trained two cohorts whose retention and achievement rates are at least as good as non-offender trainees. No-one involved in the scheme has re-offended.

Winner, Silver Award, The #BeNiceBus – Stagecoach Group

Stagecoach partnered with the Diana Award charity to launch the UK’s first and only #BeNiceBus – a refurbished bus which travels the UK sharing an anti-cyber bullying message by carrying our on-bus workshops at schools across the country. In its first year the #BeNiceBus travelled to almost 60 schools in Scotland, England and Wales, delivering more than 150 workshops, and its message reached more than 22,000 young people, with 100% reporting that the bus is a good or excellent way to educate young people about cyberbullying and its impact. It continues to go from strength to strength as the project enters its second year.

Winner, Bronze Award, Christmas fundraising campaign – Stagecoach North East

Last December, Stagecoach North East’s Christmas fundraising campaign raised over ú20,000 for local charities around the region, whilst receiving an additional uplift from a new initiative. Led by driving staff in Newcastle, and delivered by the hard, collaborative work between key departments within the company, the project was immensely successful both from a fundraising and PR perspective. An old training vehicle was transformed into a SantaÆs Grotto using bespoke, illustrated vinyls designed in-house which was a huge hit with customers and employees alike.

Finalist, BUSter’s Beach Party – Yellow Buses

Yellow Buses has been part of the Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch community for over 116 years, but wanted to reach out to do something new and position themselves back in the heart of the community by organising and running a completely free, community-focused event for the public.

Finalist, Charity of Choice – Lothian Buses

Lothian Buses has a long history of supporting local and national charities. In the last five years the company has raised money and given donations in kind to the value of over ú1m for local charities in Edinburgh and the Lothians. The fundraising activities are driven by the staff and enable charities to carry out essential work in the community, making a huge difference to the lives of families who need help and support. This has lead to the launch of a new Charity of Choice initiative, a programme designed to establish long-term partnerships with charities close to the hearts of lothian staff. The first Charity of Choice partner, chosen by Lothian’s employees, is Macmillan Cancer Support.

Finalist, Second Chance – RATP Dev London

Everybody deserves a second chance and that’s what RATP Dev London is doing at it’s Tolworth garage – giving youngsters who have committed petty crimes (some of them on buses) an opportunity to take stock of their lives, look at their futures and perhaps get an early foothold on a career. This opportunity comes in the form of a two-week work placement at Tolworth bus garage. The youngsters, aged between 15 and 17, are recommended for placement to RATP Dev London, by Achieving for Children, the social enterprise that provides children’s services for the London Boroughs of Richmond and Kingston. The young people involved usually live in the Kingston area, right in the heart of Tolworth bus garage’s operating network. The project is a real effort to connect the local bus garage with the community and offer its services in giving someone a second chance.

Finalist, Charity and community – Reading Buses

Two of Reading Buses’ company values – being caring and unrelenting customer focus – are lived and breathed every day by the whole company. Part of this commitment to its customers, and to Reading, is selecting a local Charity of the Year. The company has raised over ú75,000 since 2008 through the hard work and commitment of its employees. Whether itÆs smaller initiatives like cake sales or big events like our Family Fun Day – every penny counts. ItÆs not only about fundraising. Reading Buses has supported mental health, homelessness, cancer, adoption and fostering and severely bullied children, through to its latest charity which supports Autistic children and their families. Over the past four years, the company has provided the charity with the opportunity to wrap a bus with its branding to raise awareness around the town every day. Whether itÆs Reading Buses commitment to local charities, the environment, supporting the local community or to its customers, the company goes the extra mile for Reading making it a true part of the community.

Finalist, Newham Safer Travel Project – Stagecoach London

Newham Council’s SEND (Special Educational Needs & Disability) Travel Assessment Co-ordinator was looking to partner with a local bus operator to provide an important element of their programme to enable pupils with Special Educational Needs to travel by bus independently. They were adopting a new three-stage approach to the process, with two of these involving buses. Stagecoach London readily agreed to become involved by providing buses for the static and on the road sessions. So far, three groups of pupils have taken part in the project and early indications are that most have been sufficiently reassured by the information they have been given that some have begun travelling by themselves. This is a useful step in ensuring that the young people of today are better able to contribute to society in adulthood.