South Ayrshire Community Transport SCIO – Catriona Haston

South Ayrshire Community Transport (SACT) is the only community based wheelchair accessible vehicle hire in the area and offers a variety of services to the elderly and isolated to address social exclusion.

Existing customers include local schools, community groups, church groups, the Health & Social Care partnership and Community Learning and Development department in the local council.

Set up in 2015, it enables the elderly, disabled people, young people and those on a low income better access to supermarkets, health and social care, leisure facilities as well as connections to onward public transport options. They have recently developed a three day per week scheduled bus service between the village of Barr and Girvan allowing better access to local facilities. Barr had previously had no public transport service for over 10 years.

SACT also offers access to the ‘Out & About Club’ which supports isolated people by offering ‘door-to-door’ outings to restaurants, shopping outlets and places of interest. SACT’s minibuses are also available to hire to community groups/organisations which can provide their own, suitably trained drivers.

Catriona Haston is co-ordinator and the social enterprise employs an assistant co-ordinator, three part-time drivers and several sessional drivers, helped by a team of volunteers. They also create job opportunities by training volunteers leading to employment with SACT or with other employers. SACT is a member of the West of Scotland Community Transport Quality Framework and of the national Community Transport Association.

SACT now aims to expand its business by working with the Health and Social Care Partnerships in the North Ayrshire as well as the South Ayrshire council area and intends to purchase a fleet of wheelchair accessible vehicles to enable this to happen.

Catriona said:

Being accepted onto LaunchMe will help us achieve our aim to buy a fleet of wheelchair accessible vehicles to allow us to expand our services. The business support and mentoring will help us make improvements in our routes, reach different markets and increase our customer base which will benefit the business.

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