We've been showing its support for older people across the Isle of Wight by signing up to Age Friendly Island’s Charter.
Southern Vectis has long been a supporter of Age Friendly Island, which aims to make the Isle of Wight a great place to grow older, encourage better relations between generations, and tackle social isolation and loneliness.
“Many of our passengers are older people - with the Isle of Wight being one of the UK’s favourite retirement destinations,” said Southern Vectis general manager, Richard Tyldsley. “These individuals have much to offer the community in terms of life experience and skills - and it is very important to us that we make our buses accessible to them. That means gaining a full understanding of their needs and wishes.
“We have been working in partnership with Age Friendly Island for some time, introducing measures and initiatives designed to give older people greater confidence and comfort when travelling with us. As a key member of the steering group, we have signed up to this special Charter, cementing our commitment to the project.”
In line with the new Charter, Southern Vectis has made a commitment to:
- Continue with Age Friendly Training with its training school - to ensure all colleagues are consistent in their approach to the ageing population.
- Constantly strive to improve its services in line with the Age Friendly Project.
- Regularly engage with its concessionary pass holders and action any achievable ideas that arise.
“Measures we have already taken include installing ‘dementia friendly’ flooring in all our new buses,” added Richard. “After consultation, we discovered customers with dementia found stepping onto darker floors disconcerting. They preferred lighter floors, and we were happy to oblige.
“For some time now, our drivers have been donning special age suits as part of their on-going training - to help them empathise with our older passengers and understand the challenges they face.
“We are involved in a whole range of initiatives already, and signing up to the Charter means we will continue to introduce new ways of making bus travel with Southern Vectis a welcoming and enjoyable experience for all.”