2019 Bus and the Community

Bus and the Community sponsored by sponsored by CBW

Winner, Gold Award, Brand the Bus! – Oxford Bus Company

The ‘Brand the Bus!’ competition provides local charities and other good causes opportunity to promote themselves. It also enables the Oxford Bus Company to demonstrate our commitment to corporate social responsibility and generates substantial positive PR for all parties. Competition entrants create a short video or PDF presentation showing why their charity or other good cause deserves to brand a bus. Entries are displayed in an online gallery, viewed by thousands of web visitors, where the public vote for their favourite. The shortlisted ten are then considered by a judging panel and the winner gets to have an Oxford Bus Company double-decker bus painted and wrapped in the colours, logo and messaging of their cause. The bus travels the streets of Oxford as part of our regular fleet, seen by thousands of residents and visitors to our City every day. Highly commended runners-up also receive support in the form of complimentary on-bus digital screen advertising. The competition was launched in 2018 and in its first year attracted 39 entrants and approximately 6000 unique votes from members of the public. It regularly appeared in local press and social media posts were well received. This year’s competition has just opened.

What impressed the judges with the innovative Brand the Bus! competition was how the scheme links back to the community, creating a momentum that lasts into the future so that all the charities get some benefit from the publicity. They also liked that the company has already planned for year three of the competition.

Winner, Silver Award, Stuff a Bus – Translink

Between 23 November and 18 December 2018, Northern Ireland’s main public transport provider, Translink, joined forces with Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul (SVP) for the second time to deliver a Christmas Family Appeal called #StuffABusNI! With a core aim to raise awareness of childhood poverty in Northern Ireland, the campaign demonstrated Translink’s commitment to the local community and achieved impressive engagement. Thanks to a collaborative, hard-working programme of activity, the appeal smashed its 15,000 gift target and resulted in a total of 47,424 Christmas gifts being handed to disadvantaged families – an unprecedented positive response.

Praised by the judges for its involvement with the charity as well as coming up with the eye catching idea of filling a bus with Christmas presents.

Winner, Bronze Award, School library bus – Metroline

Metroline converted a double desk bus into a special library bus to be made a permanent part of the playground at the Sinai Jewish Primary School. Aimed at promoting reading and literacy amongst primary school children in a fun and exciting way, and to be shared with a number of schools in the area from different faiths as a true community project, the library bus -the first of its kind in London represented a perfect opportunity for Metroline to help invest in future generations.

Well, the judges have seen buses given away to community groups before, but never with this level of thought and involvement in adapting it to be perfect for its new use.

Finalist, Santa Bus – Brighton & Hove Buses

This year marks a massive milestone for the Brighton & Hove Santa Bus: 15 years of significantly raising the happiness levels of the city while simultaneously sprinkling tons of fairy dust over the city. During that time, we’ve raised more than £250,000 for Marletts Hospice and The Argus Appeal, which distributes money to numerous local charities, with every single penny going to charity. Powered by the joy and goodwill of more than 200 volunteers, including our colleagues from every depot and department, it has grown exponentially and now visits 200 streets over 20 nights from as far east as Peacehaven and as far west as Southwick. In these times of increasing division, the Santa Bus brings hope and a bucketload of Christmas magic to thousands of people, young and old, around the communities we serve and that we’re an integral part of. People often cheer – and sometimes cry – when they see it in the streets. When it’s not out fundraising, the bus transports disabled children to Christmas parties all over the city and takes school groups out on tours while cheering up Christmas shoppers. For thousands of people in Brighton & Hove, Christmas doesn’t start until the Santa Bus arrives.

Finalist, Chatty Bus – Go-Ahead Group

At the Go-Ahead Group we have a devolved form of leadership at our operating companies (OpCos). Our bus OpCos, who include Brighton & Hove Buses and the Oxford Bus Company, are local teams that put bus at the heart of the community. Part of Go-Ahead’s strategy is to help grow stronger communities and increase customer satisfaction. We understand the importance of bus in the community – it is a central service that gets people to school, work and leisure activities. Following consultation with various industry bodies and stakeholders, we believe that there is an opportunity as an owning Group to make a real impact on the issue of loneliness. For some people, the bus driver is the only person they speak with in a day. Chatty Bus is an initiative to showcase how bus can combat loneliness and create a safe space, where it’s encouraged to reach out to a stranger and have a conversation. Developed in conjunction with our seven OpCos across the UK, it highlights bus as the solution to an issue that is present in every community. The campaign shows that having a conversation with a fellow passenger is easier, better received than many anticipated has real benefits to an individual’s wellbeing.

Finalist, Autism and accessibility – Reading Buses

Two of our company values: “being caring” and “unrelenting customer focus”, are lived and breathed every day by the whole company. Part of this commitment to our customers and to Reading is selecting a local Charity of the Year. Although it may not sound a huge sum, we raised £11,719 for Autism Berkshire through the hard work and commitment of our employees. Whether it’s smaller initiatives like cake sales or big events like our Family Fun Day or even a sky dive – every penny counts. We know, it’s not only about the fundraising. It’s as much about building the Charity’s profile, including a wrapped bus which raised awareness of Autistic children and their families in and around Reading, every single day they were our nominated charity. In 2018, we built on our suite of accessibility training to help all of our customers to travel, especially when they may need extra assistance or understanding. Our latest Disability Awareness training included a visit from a young man with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Drivers gained confidence and skills, plus the young man with Autism gained so much confidence he has been motivated to speak to other businesses to campaign and help raise awareness for people with Autism.

Finalist, Christmas fundraiser – Stagecoach North East

Following our success at the UK Bus Awards 2018, in which we were recognised for raising over £20,000 for local charities around the region, we are absolutely thrilled to return with an overwhelming improvement on last year’s efforts! During Christmas 2018/19, our renewed fundraising initiative led by driving staff in the north east and delivered by the hard, collaborative work of key departments within the company, raised an outstanding £30,000 for local charities, representing a year on year improvement of circa £10,000! A huge hit with customers and employees alike! Over the past three years alone, the cumulative total of Stagecoach North East’s Christmas fundraisers has now reached over £80,000! Voted for by employees from across our six north east depots, the charities to benefit from this great initiative include: Tiny Lives Trust, Northumbria Blood Bikes, The Chronicle Sunshine Fund, CLIC Sargent, Chloe & Liam Together Trust, St Benedict’s Hospice, Daisy Chain and Alice House.

Finalist, Safety Bus – Translink

The Safety Bus is a free resource that teaches schoolchildren benefits of safe transport, the need to protect it, and the personal/societal detriment caused by anti-social behaviours on and around buses. It eases children’s transition to public transport, explaining how to use services; demystifying ‘the big bus’ as children move to ‘big school’. Over 450,000 pupils have used it since it was first launched 17 years ago. It is available at school open nights, at ‘Bee Safe’ events, as an introduction to safe bus use, and as part of induction activity at secondary school. It primarily runs specialised classes at schools and communities, educating children on road safety issues around public transport with a dedicated vehicle, specially adapted and liveried with safety messages. It features graffiti-style graphics with localised, youth-oriented sayings and a digital CCTV system. This is linked to the onboard monitor to give an insight into how incidents are captured and investigated. Children can view Translink’s “Travel Safe” DVD on board, as well as a bespoke presentation (delivered by the team), illustrating the impacts of anti-social behaviour. The Safety Bus bolsters relationships with schools and the community and has been viewed by schools as an integral part of the delivery of their enriched curriculum.

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