As for many businesses, taxi and private hire companies have been suffering from the crippling effects of COVID-19 over the past year. One Northants private hire firm has put its free time to good use by enrolling their drivers through online First Aid courses and “Passenger Assistant Training Schemes’ (PATS) to enable the business to offer a new ‘Assisted Travel’ service to the county.
Simply Cabs, based in Wellingborough will be working closely with local authority, care homes, hospitals and charities to offer a door-to-door service to the elderly or anyone who may have mobility issues.
Trained drivers will safely assist passengers from their front door right to the waiting area of your appointment and even get them checked in. Once the appointment is over, they will collect passengers from the waiting area and take them home. If needed, they will also supply trained Passenger Assistants that can stay as travel companions throughout the whole day.
Many older people who do not drive or are not in a position to travel alone using public transport must rely on family and friends to provide transportation. In other cases, there is huge pressure on care homes, social workers and families who have not always got the time or resources to take time away from work to get to appointments.
To increase the scope of support they can provide, further training is already planned in 2021 for their drivers to become better equipped in topics including Mental Health Awareness, Autism, Cancer Support and Dementia Awareness. Sarah Mae is one of the drivers who has undergone training and says ‘Simply Cabs specialised in Local Authority work and Airport Transfers, both of which were heavily affected by COVID-19.
We already carried out a lot of care work so it was a natural progression to take on the extra training to offer a complete door to door service for the elderly. As a driver there is no better feeling knowing you are helping people in the local community. It’s so rewarding for us drivers. Simply Cabs also undertake work for the Department of Work & Pensions ‘Access to Work’ Scheme which enables people to travel to work if they have a disability or long term physical or mental health condition.
More information on Assisted Travel or Access to Work is available on their website www.simplycabs.com or by calling them on 01933 400400.