Welcome to the Podcast page for the Transport and Health Integrated research NetworK – THINK
THINK podcast series on community transport
This is a series of podcasts on community transport recorded, edited and presented by members of the THINK team, Amy Nicholass, Project Officer and Dr Lucy baker, Research Associate. The audio recordings were made outside the studio in various locations in and around Pembrokeshire in December 2022, including on moving buses! Therefore the sound quality is variable, but adds to the atmosphere and gives you a sense of where Community Transport takes place – yes, on buses and offices of operators, but also in volunteer’s and users’ homes and in cafes where passengers might want to be taken for a coffee with friends.
Many thanks to everyone who gave their time to be recorded for the podcast and who spoke so openly about their experiences.
We had many enthusiastic contributors to the recordings and also our own share of technical challenges recording outside of a controlled studio environment! With the usable quality recordings we still could not squeeze them all into one single podcast (which was our original plan) so we decided to edit the audio we collected into a series of podcasts instead. Despite not being able to use all the material we recorded, everyone’s story informed our understanding of the passion that fuels community transport and the editing choices we have made.
The introductory podcast in this series is called ‘More Than Just a Journey’ and this ‘soundscape’ incorporates voices from many people in the series, highlighting the benefits of community transport above and beyond simply getting passengers from A to B.
Other podcasts in this series cover in more detail the themes of co-productive approaches to transport provision, digital technology used to bring community transport to wider audiences and how community transport is vital for access to health care and reducing the likelihood of re-admission to hospital.
Each podcast is hosted by an external website and you can find them all listed there.
Each podcast will eventually have a transcript available in English and Welsh but these might not be available for the launch.
Episode One : More Than Just a Journey
In this special flagship introductory episode we use a ‘soundscape’ approach to enable people who provide, use & research community transport to share its importance to them in their own words. You’ll not only hear how the services provide much needed independence, tackle loneliness and isolation and provide access to shopping, health care, family, fun and nature for people who use them, but how volunteer drivers benefit hugely as well.
You will hear the voices of Emma Bingham (Community Transport Association), Debbie Johnson (Pembrokeshire Association of Community Transport Organisations), drivers Kellie Lowther (Pembrokeshire Integrated Voluntary Organisation Team), Bob (Royal Voluntary Service Country Cars), Sue (Royal Voluntary Service Country Cars), John (Dolen Teifi Community Transport) and customers, plus Robert Hagan of Manchester Metropolitan University.
Episode Two : Co-production
We explore how community transport engages with and enables communities to communicate the transport challenges they have and to create solutions with communities that are accessible and inclusive, and enabling rural communities to be less car dependent. Community transport providers often bridge the gap between communities, decision-makers and health care services and are key to a co-productive future in transport.
Community transport hubs offer a fascinating case study for anyone interested in a real life example of co-production. Do also check out the episode on Access to Health too for more examples.
Featuring transport users in Llandysul, Gemma Lelliott (Director for Wales, Community Transport Association) and Rod Bowen (Dolen Teifi Community Transport), which utilises a hub approach that improves collaborative responses to Community Transport needs and the sustainability of transport provision.
Episode Three : Access to Healthcare
In this episode we hear about the role community transport plays in plugging the gaps in access to vital health care left behind by cancellation of commercial bus services. The contributors explain how the caring, enthusiastic volunteer drivers getting people home from hospital using these services often ensure passengers who live alone have food, warmth and someone to talk to and check they are ok, or even clear up broken glass left behind after a fall at home that led to an ambulance trip. This can keep people from being immediately re-admitted to hospital. This episode captures how Pembrokeshire is actually a leading light when it comes to collaboration between community transport providers and health care providers, to ensure better health outcomes.
A highly recommended podcast to listen to for anyone working in health or social care.
Featuring Emma Bingham (Senior Development Officer, Community Transport Association), Debbie Johnson (Development Manager, Pembrokeshire Association of Community Transport Organisations), Gemma Lelliott (Director for Wales Community Transport Association), Kellie Lowther (wheelchair accessible vehicle driver and volunteer co-ordinator, Pembrokeshire Integrated Voluntary Organisation Team and Country Cars), Rod Bowen (Transportation Development Officer, Dolen Teifi Community Transport), Tina Norman (wheelchair accessible vehicle user and Trustee of Pembrokeshire Voluntary Transport) and community transport users of the Fflesci bus service trial in St Davids and Dolen Teifi Community Transport.
Episode Four : Digital Futures
Dr Lucy Baker and Amy Nicholass visit one of the pilot Fflecsi demand responsive transport services in Pembrokeshire, funded by the Welsh Government, and embedded into community transport provision. We consider what app-based services can offer to community transport passengers and providers, and what the barriers are in incorporating new technologies into booking practices. The podcast highlights the need for a blended approach that maintains local relationships with providers and flexibility for different passengers to book and use services in several ways.
Do take a listen to this podcast, especially if you are interested in technological solutions to tackling community challenges or if you commission or provide bus services, especially in rural areas.
Featuring Gemma Lelliott (Director for Wales Community Transport Association), Andrew Lloyd (Fflecsi Project Coordinator, Pembrokeshire Voluntary Transport), Chris Payne (Fflecsi Driver), Rod Bowen (Transportation Development Officer, Dolen Teifi Community Transport), Emma Bingham (Senior Development Officer, Community Transport Association) Debbie Johnson, (Community Transport Development Manager Pembrokeshire Association of Community Transport Operators), Sue (Volunteer Coordinator, Pembrokeshire Voluntary Transport) and community transport users.
Episode Five: Wales and Community Transport with Gemma Lelliott, Director for Wales, Community Transport Association
Gemma Lelliott, Director for Wales at the Community Transport Association is interviewed by Dr Lucy Baker and Amy Nicholass from THINK as they explore her views and experience on the role of community transport in Wales and how strategic approaches and policy changes can support it.
This is a very useful podcast to listen to if you commission transport services (especially in suburban and rural areas which typically lack commercial bus operators), if you choose locations for health care or community care services, if you are a town planner or policy maker in many areas of transport and health. Gemma is a very eloquent speaker and gets across clearly, the often unnoticed contribution that community transport makes.