Day Trip Service Tackles Social Isolation

FDM is a local community transport charity which has operated a social club in the Rothwell area since 2015. Through support from Leeds Community Foundation and Time to Shine, they were able to set up a second social club to help more beneficiaries.

Katy Frost, FDMs Social Club Co-ordinator tells us how funding had made such a difference.

In a nutshell could you tell us what your Leeds Community Foundation funded project involves

Our project has allowed our charity to start a second Social Club for the Ardsley and greater Morley area of South Leeds: helping people to get out, socialise and make new friends. Our fully adaptable minibuses provide a door to door service to take people out to a range of different places, both locally and further afield.

Why is this kind of support so vital, what’s the need and what might be the situation if the support you offer didn’t exist?

We are pleased to be able to show that with the right support, age is not a barrier, and that no-one need be socially isolated. Many of our members are elderly and often disabled and unable to use public or private transport. Our new members are so pleased to find we provide a door to door service, that we can accommodate wheelchairs and wheeled walkers, and that you can access the bus without going up steps.

Could you share a rewarding moment you’ve had so far? Is there a particular story you could share from a beneficiary you’ve helped?

Without our Social Club many of the people we help would not be able to get out to participate in the community and in society. One member had not been out of her home for the last few years. Through our project she has now been on 4 trips with her carer. She has been able to replenish her wardrobe during a trip to Ripon on Market day and take home some new plants for her garden from a trip to Tong Garden Centre.

What made you apply for a Foundation grant, what difference has the funding from the foundation made?

Our funding has given us the capacity to set up a new Social Club and to provide 24 trips out at a subsidised rate. So far we have attracted 38 new members and delivered 8 trips. Importantly, have also been able to recruit and train a further two volunteer drivers who are donating their time to be able to drive our minibuses.