Redbridge children with special needs complete training on how to use public transport
PUBLISHED: 15:29 11 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:29 11 October 2018
Most parents worry when their child starts travelling to school or going out by themselves, but when that young person has additional needs the issue is even more complex.
A group of Redbridge students who require extra educational support or have a disability took part in an independent travel training scheme to give them the skills and confidence to move around the borough.
Some young people needed short-term assistance to help them understand how public transport works, while others needed week or month long one-to-one, person-centred training programmes that gave them the tools to navigate their neighbourhood.
Trainees work at their own pace until they reach a level of attainment they are comfortable with.
The outcomes for both families and the young person have been life-changing.
One parent, whose child Jamie completed the travel training, said initially they had reservations about the scheme and how their son would cope on public transport.
“From the initial meeting and throughout the training we felt our concerns were listened to and answered thoughtfully and thoroughly.
“We received continuous support and the trainer kept us up-to-date with his progress.
“At the beginning, we sent out a boy and he came back a man.
“Jamie has gained in confidence and is very happy to travel by himself -he is now travelling to a college in Essex using overground trains.”
The last group of participants to complete the scheme celebrated their achievements at an awards ceremony attended by former Paralympian and television presenter Ade Adepitan and Councillor Elaine Norman, cabinet member for children and young people.
The event, held at City Gates Church, Clements Road, Ilford on Thursday, October 4, also launched the ‘My Travel Journey’ - a short film which followed two young people as they grew in confidence with travelling to and from school or college on their own.
Councillor Elaine Norman said: “It’s a great tribute to our young people, the event was a great opportunity to celebrate their achievement and determination”.
Further information about the scheme and the short film will soon be available at redbridge.gov.uk