Bus Buddies to Help Elderly get ‘on the buses’

Residents at Florence Longman Sheltered Housing Scheme in Hemel Hempstead had a surprise day ‘on the buses’, as part of a drive by Osborne and its partners Age UK and The Hertfordshire NHS Community Trust to help tackle social isolation among older people.
Local bus operator Arriva, another project partner, arranged for one of its vehicles to visit the Dacorum Borough Council scheme to allow the 10 elderly residents to address concerns about using buses.

These include not having time to get seated before pulling off, not knowing bus routes and being worried about getting on with their sticks and walkers.

One resident said after the day: “Today has been an eye-opener for me. I didn’t know that there were ramps available to be lowered on buses for easy access!

“I don’t use a walker, but I do have knee problems, which makes it hard for me to climb up and down without putting too much pressure on my knee. Thank you for your time and help it is really appreciated.”

Following the success of the visit, Osborne Property Services and its partners are working with Dacorum Volunteer Centre to establish a ‘Bus Buddies’ service in Hemel Hempstead. This would see volunteer ‘Buddies’ available on Arriva routes for one day every week to support elderly people get on and off and comfortably in their seats.