“As Community Connector…my experience of working with/making referrals to LWCT have always been extremely positive. Everyone involved with the organisation and the volunteers are of an exceptionally high standard.”
Tysteb Cysylltydd Cymunedol PAVO
As the Community Connector for the Builth Wells and Llanwrtyd Wells locality area, my experience of working with/making referrals to Llanwrtyd Wells Community Transport (LWCT) have always been extremely positive.
The community transport allows and enables residents – who live in a very remote geographical area with very limited public transport options available – a lifeline to be able to attend hospital appointments (bearing in mind that Powys does not have a District General Hospital, so there is a considerable journey of at least an hour to access any appointments etc.), and undertake other essential journeys to access health and wellbeing, as well as shopping trips and their monthly outings for socialising.
An example of how flexible and accommodating they are can be demonstrated by a client I referred some time ago, it was a lady who had not stepped outside her home for over 15 years, due to mobility issues. The District Nursing team originally referred her to me, and she needed to arrange transport for a hospital appointment in Hereford DGH, she thought that she would need to hire a private ambulance with a driver plus one other person to support her. The cost of this would have been a minimum of £800 – having had the “what matters to her” conversation – she consented to my contacting Llanwrtyd Wells Community Transport and requesting that they speak with her about what they could offer – i.e. transportation in wheelchair secured within their vehicle. When I made the referral and explained the situation, not only did Laura the transport manager offer to liaise directly with the client, she actually went out to visit her, following the initial telephone call, to try and ease the clients anxieties and make the potential journey less traumatic for her. The outcome resulted in the client attending the hospital appointment as arranged – with one driver – the reason for the client thinking she needed another person for support was that she was worried about needing a toilet stop on the journey to Hereford.
The cost of attending the hospital appointment was approx £70 – £80 which was a fraction of the cost of hiring a private ambulance and the sensitivity and holistic, individualised approach to enable this client to make that journey – with the least anxiety and stress for her – was awe-inspiring.
That is just one of many examples I could offer about how excellent the service provided by LWCT is and how it works across a range of diverse and vulnerable client groups. Everyone involved with the organisation and the volunteers are of an exceptionally high standard.
I frequently make referrals for community transport and signpost and attend the community café which is run by their 2 outstanding volunteers in Llanwrtyd Wells at the old station – they are so welcoming to my clients and I hear nothing but great feedback and I often used to attend with a new client for the first couple of visits, and always received a warm and welcoming reception.
LWCT responded very quickly and adapted to the changes/guidance put in place by government, and LWCT is still one of the few community transport schemes within Powys that is currently still offering an option to provide transport for hospital appointments and other essential journeys – Covid safe.
Alongside of individual transport requests – they were able to offer a service to collect and deliver shopping, prescriptions (amongst other requests) for people who were advised by the Chief Medical Officer to shield, as well as other vulnerable people who were self-isolating. A fantastic community response to this unprecedented situation – which we are still experiencing. They have adapted and changed the services they offer in a way that best suits our local communities, they have also managed to communicate all the changes and provide updates in their community newsletter which is available online as well as for the residents who do not have access to internet and wi-fi etc (some through choice).
My final comment would be the hope that the community café will at some future point be able to re-open safely, as that face to face physical presence is missed by so many of my clients – “we don’t know what a good thing we have – until it’s gone” – it was a wonderfully nurturing lovely place to visit.