As the weather improves, your community group may be thinking about how to encourage members and clients to re-engage in your activities. At the moment, there are lots of outdoor options, but many of the people you usually work with may be worried about venturing out.
Have you thought about putting on short (hour-long) visits to a local park or garden centre?
Readibus is happy to hear from any groups who would like to run these trips and need transport. They can offer to collect up to 6 people in their Covid-safe minibuses (5 if someone is in a wheelchair or not able to wear a mask). It’s free for passengers with a bus pass, so a trip for your members needn’t cost your community groups anything.
Readibus has been running trips to a local garden centre for residents of sheltered housing in West Reading recently and this is what passengers have said:
“I enjoyed every minute especially as it was my first trip out for about twelve months. I so enjoyed having a good look round. There was so much to see. I cannot say how grateful I am” (‘Mrs H’)
“It was so pleasant to get away after all the time. Thank you so much for the lovely day out yesterday.” (Mr P)
Things to think about
- Start small and try it out first with an organiser from your group and a couple of members/clients.
- Organise pick ups from people within the same geographical area, to reduce the time people need to sit on the minibus.
- Go somewhere local like Caversham Court.
- Choose somewhere that has accessible toilets. Even if you’re only there for an hour, this may give the reassurance that some people will need, before they book.
- Speak to Readibus in advance about what you need to do to plan the trip and give them as much notice as you can. A week or two is fine. They’ve been doing this for years and all during the pandemic, so they will be able to offer the support and expertise to make this a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.
- Try it out before September, when Readibus will start getting much busier again.
- Take photos (with permission) and gather quotes during and after the trip that you can share with other members to encourage them to participate next time. Rhiannon from Ready Friends at Reading Voluntary Action (firstname.lastname@example.org) would also be happy to publicise your trip in RVA News, to encourage other community groups to run their own.