Anya was referred to our Travel Buddy project from Amaze in October 2020. She was about to begin a placement at Café Domenica and wanted to be an independent traveller before she started.
Anya was already confident at crossing the quiet roads around her home and very quickly became confident at the busier roads around Café Domenica. She learnt the bus route with the help of flash cards for the stops and by recognising the landmarks she passed on the journey.
She got a real boost to her confidence by meeting the people she would be working with when she started her placement at Café Domenica. Soon Anya was confidently starting and engaging in conversations with many people, something that her shyness and anxiety had previously prevented. She also started volunteering at a charity shop that was on a familiar route.
One time, Anya got on the bus going in the wrong direction when going home. Instead of this denting her confidence, however, Travel Buddy put problem-solving into action. We supported Anya to ask the bus driver if they were going to her stop. This experience gave her the confidence to be resilient and continue.
“I really enjoyed the travel training and my travel buddy was really supportive and good to talk to. When I learnt the journey I felt really independent. It was the first time I used the bus by myself. It was a good thing to do and I would recommend it.”
Now that Anya has completed and passed her travel training, she plans to use what she has learnt to continue volunteering. She is also looking forward to taking part in workshops at Café Domenica as she feels she has a lot of advice to give others who want to learn to travel independently and increase their confidence.
Anya’s mum, Marie, said:
“I can’t recommend the travel training scheme enough. My daughter’s confidence in using the bus has grown week by week and we are so proud that she can now make her journey by herself. It is not something that we envisaged her being able to do six months ago. My daughter’s travel training buddy was fantastic. She had loads of tips and strategies that would not have occurred to us. Overall the scheme has boosted my daughter’s confidence and made her feel more independent. I really am enormously grateful to Grace Eyre for that. “
If you would like to learn to travel independently, find out more about Travel Buddy.