Alex has been learning the journeys to her work placements at Café Domenica at venues around Brighton.
She started learning earlier in 2020 with a short jaunt to the Preston Circus site with a Grace Eyre Travel Buddy. Alex had also been using the buses regularly with her dad before lockdown, so already felt she knew the easier journeys quite well. Unfortunately, Alex was unable to complete the 1:1 travel training and become fully independent due to the national lockdown. Now she has two new journeys that involve quite a long bus journey and a short walk with lots of roads to cross.
“It will be good when I travel independently. I will be able to cross roads and go to see my friends. And dad can stay at home and not drive me.”
Alex loves to point out all the places she knows as she is travelling through Brighton with Claire Hudson, Project Worker for Travel Buddy. When Claire asked Alex how she felt about traveling during the pandemic with the new restrictions and guidelines, she said:
“I don’t really like wearing a mask but I will – it makes it difficult to hear what people are saying. Sometimes the bus is really busy. Sometimes it’s just us. I like it when it’s not busy and we get to work early.”
Alex has been very quick to learn her new journeys and is confident in using the buses, knowing where and how to get on and off. We are still working on crossing roads safely as some of them are very fast and busy and how to deal with unexpected situations on and off the bus.
Alex’s dad told us he wanted Alex to do the Travel Buddy Training as “it is the next step in becoming more independent.” He also said he was perfectly comfortable with her travelling during Covid-19 because the measures being taken are adequate and the risk to Alex is negligible.
“Travel Buddy has made Alex much more confident at home and when we are out. She is eager to show me what she has learned.”
Independent travel will always be an essential skill for people with learning disabilities to have. Independent travel can open employment, social and educational opportunities that may not have been available without it. When the current lockdown ends, our Travel Buddy Project can help unlock your full employment, educational or social potential.