Kyle, from Leeds, who has Down’s syndrome and learning difficulties has been learning to travel independently on public transport on our Travel Buddies Independent Travel Training programme.
Kyle originally travelled to his college course on local authority shared transport, but he found that a real challenge. “I used to get a minibus, but I didn’t like it” explains Kyle. It took me a long time to get to college plus I wanted to get the bus with my friend who lived near me so we could talk about football.”
Kyle’s journey to college involved taking two buses, but he completed the training in just seven weeks and was rightly proud of his achievement. His college reported that his attitude to learning and getting a job was outstanding.
Just one month after he completed his Independent travel training, Kyle secured a job placement at McDonald’s one day a week. Again this meant 2 buses changing in the city centre – after only three journeys with the travel buddy he knew how to do it himself. Kyle went on to excel in the placement and secured himself a paid job with McDonalds 2 days a week.
“I can feel like my friends” said Kyle. “I feel more confident when travelling on my own on the bus, I really like it. I feel grown up and independent catching the bus to work, like my mum. If I didn’t have training I wouldn’t be able to go to work - I even know the time on a clock for when I need to leave home now too.”
Kyle also feels that it has helped to connect him with his friends and family. “I now go to the club not far from my house on a Sunday to see my friends and some family and I have a nice cold drink and play pool and listen to the music playing. Two of my friends have done the training now too and we help each other as well. We take it in turns to press the bell when we need to get off the bus.”
Rachel, Kyles’ mother, has also noticed the difference. “Since the training, Kyle has come on leaps and bounds – his confidence has shot through the roof and I am extremely proud that he has secured himself a job. This has had a massive effect on his confidence and he is growing into a fine independent young man.”