Dorset Community Transport (also known as DCT) forms part of ECT Charity which is both a charity and a social enterprise that combines business thinking with social values to deliver high quality transport services that positively benefit the local communities. DCT’s community-based door-to-door transport services help keep disabled, isolated and/or lonely people independent and mobile, as well as less isolated and lonely.
Throughout the decades, ECT Charity has been involved in driving up standards in accessible transport services both locally and through its active membership of the Community Transport Association. The Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme (MiDAS) and Passenger Assistant Training Scheme (PATS) lie at the heart of quality standards making sure that transport is safe for the most vulnerable members of our community.
ECT Charity has established a track record for high-quality, efficient services that users appreciate for their personal approach, safety and security. In 2012 ECT Charity delivered, as lead partner, the London 2012 Accessible Shuttles project on behalf of the Olympic Delivery Authority, and DCT was proud to provide the accessible bus shuttles for spectators visiting the London 2012 events at Weymouth and Portland. Mayor Boris Johnson hailed the team “the unsung heroes” of London 2012.
In 2014, ECT Charity provided a high-quality Accessible Shuttles service for the Invictus Games. In 2015, ECT Charity provided a very well received Accessible Shuttles service for the Rugby World Cup, covering all matches played at Twickenham and the Olympic Stadium throughout the six week duration of the tournament.
ECT Charity is the name used to represent our community transport companies which operate in Ealing (ECT), Cornwall, Cheshire and Dorset (DCT).
Social Impact Declaration: Social-Impact-Declaration_Dorset-Community-Transport.pdf
Social Impact Statements:
Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders must submit Social Impact Statements that summarise their headline activities and achievements, helping show how they are striving to make a difference and stand up to scrutiny of purpose as a social enterprise.
Updated May 2016
1) Delivering transport services to benefit local communities
Dorset Community Transport (also known as DCT) delivers a range of high quality transport services that positively benefit the local communities.
DCT provides an affordable, accessible minibus service to voluntary, community and statutory groups, which enables these organisations to fulfil their own objectives. We reinvest some of our surplus each year to provide subsidised transport to these groups, which enables them to carry out their activities.
In addition to this Group Transport service, DCT operates nearly 50 home-to-school services transporting hundreds of pupils to mainstream and special educational-needs schools across the county. These services are contracted by and operated on behalf of the local authorities (currently Dorset County Council, Poole and Bournemouth Borough Council).
DCT also operates minibuses on a number of local bus routes. These public services are subsidised by and operated on behalf of Dorset County Council.
In addition, DCT has recently commenced demand-responsive door-to-door trips for individuals to market towns, shopping centres, lunches and places of interest to vulnerable individuals who otherwise would not be able to leave their homes, notably the elderly and people with disabilities. This service seeks to enable independent living and encourage social interaction for these vulnerable people who have serious difficulty in accessing other forms of transport. This service is crucial given the recent cuts in rural routes, and this service reconnects villages with their local market towns. We also build partnerships with local befriending organisations in Dorset County that helps us identify and encourage lonely and socially isolated elderly people to get out of their homes.
Not only do we achieve social impact through our services for individuals (see below for more information) and groups, but the vehicles remain in the community as an asset. When a Local Authority procures its home-to-school transport services (including for children with special educational needs), we ensure that we maximise the use of our vehicles by using them during the day and during school holidays for our individual door-to-door transport services (such as transporting socially isolated old people to and from luncheon clubs and healthcare appointments) and during the weekends for use by voluntary and community sector groups.
During the school holidays, DCT transports youngsters (referred by education, health and social care professionals, many of whom were in and out of foster care, or experiencing issues with their mental health) to the beach as part of the Wave Project. Local surfers volunteer to work with young people, either one-on-one or in groups, and teach them to surf, helping to boost their self-confidence.
2) Measures of services
In the past year in DCT, we enabled 6,740 passenger trips for 124 different groups across our operations. This ensured that community groups were able to continue their activities by having affordable and accessible transport at subsidised rates.
The quantifiable social outcomes of our activities include independent living, facilitating social interaction, enabling affordable trips for voluntary/ community groups and supporting volunteering and the volunteer sector.
During the last year, DCT facilitated 186,894 trips, which included 593 pupils travelling to school (included children with disabilities or special needs). In addition, we facilitated 21,462 trips on local bus routes which enabled people in rural communities to get out and about.
All of DCT’s assets (100%) are retained for community use, any surplus is automatically reinvested into community benefit.
3) Impact of community transport
DCT forms part of ECT Charity, which led two groundbreaking pieces of research which were published together in a report entitled Why Community Transport Matters.
The first part sets out the impact that community transport has on the health and wellbeing of isolated and lonely elderly people. This report was produced in association with Deloitte and shows that the national economy could save up to £1.1bn by supporting Community Transport operators (CTs). This is because CTs help keep the elderly independent and mobile as well as less isolated and lonely, and as a result, these people tend to stay healthier and happier for longer. That means fewer GP house calls, fewer hospital admissions, and less home care.
The second part of the research sets out a practical toolkit for CTs to measure the social value of what they do (for instance, the value of independent living and socialising with others). This new methodology allows DCT to quantify the social outcomes of their activities, such as independent living, facilitating social interaction, enabling affordable trips for voluntary/ community groups and supporting volunteering and the volunteer sector.
As a result of the publication and accompanying launch event, there has been a significant increase in the level of debate and discussion of the costs of Isolation and Loneliness through increased press coverage and increased number of discussions and interest from local and national government authorities, transport commissioners and other relevant bodies.