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May 24, 2022

Travel Connections: our exciting new journey

Profile image for Lisa Fearn

Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Time to Shine

We are delighted to announce that Leeds Older People’s Forum has been awarded a grant through the Department for Transport’s ‘Tackling loneliness with transport’ fund.

Through our ambitious ‘Travel Connections’ programme, involving six local third sector organisations as partners, there will be 12 separate projects exploring how to improve transport options for older people.

These projects will work with older people (aged 50+) including older carers, men, people experiencing frailty and diverse communities. In total, we expect to work with 600 older people.

Travel Connections projects fall into five distinct themes:

  1. Buses
  2. Taxis
  3. Active travel
  4. Community transport
  5. Travel conversations

Four projects are delivered by LOPF and eight projects are delivered by other organisations:

By investing in organisations which continue to operate after the Department for Transport funding ends, the learning, knowledge and experience gained by managers, staff and volunteers will help to shape activities for years to come.

Cross-sector stakeholders are keen to contribute to the projects, each bringing different perspectives and expertise. This city-wide collaboration is vital if learning from Travel Connections is to influence future plans and strategic priorities in the city.

With our diverse membership and long experience of work with older people, LOPF understands the issues and knows how important effective transport is for older people’s wellbeing, enabling them to engage with their communities, family, friends and activities.

Travel Connections will use the ‘test and learn’ ethos that was so successful in our Time to Shine programme. Key to this is creating a ‘programme approach’: all projects share a common goal, helping the programme become greater than the sum of its parts.

Travel Connections will run until May 2023, by which time we expect to have a suite of written resources, including a learning report on each of the themes, to help others continue the journey towards tackling loneliness with transport.

We’re very pleased that, as with Time to Shine which concluded in March 2022, and the new Enhance programme in partnership with Leeds Community Healthcare Trust, we will again be working with local partners, each of which brings their own creativity, knowledge and experience to the programme.

Lisa Fearn
Monitoring and Evaluation Officer