Charlotte, from Leeds, who has Down’s syndrome, has been learning to travel independently on public transport with our Travel Buddies Independent Travel Training programme. She first learned to travel independently so that she could go to college, but is now using public transport to access a wide range of services and activities.
‘Over two years, Charlotte has met all her goals, both in terms of self-confidence and her travel around Leeds city centre,’ explains Sharlene, Charlotte’s Travel Buddy. ‘She has learnt five routes which she travels over four days, travelling independently to dance and drama class on Mondays and Fridays, to her work placement at Leap café on Wednesdays and to meet up with other students and attend Paperwork’s work place environment on Thursdays.’
‘I enjoy catching the bus all by myself,’ said Charlotte, when asked about what independent travel means for her. ‘I go to two jobs and dance and drama on four days. I can now go to the shop in the bus station for a drink on my own and pay for it by myself.‘
Charlotte’s parents have also seen the difference the training has made. ‘We have seen a great improvement in Charlotte's independence since her training,’ said Denise, Charlotte’s mother. ‘She is more confident about being out by herself and also returning home. ‘Since her training she can now access projects in Leeds which are close to the bus station and just out of the centre. It has increased her circle of friends which matters very much to her and to us.’