National treasure Dame Esther Rantzen has joined a growing number of high-profile supporters backing an innovative scheme in Sussex aimed at helping to end social isolation within its towns and villages.
Community Transport Sussex is a local charity and last year the organisation launched its Travel Buddy service. Going from strength-to-strength it is already operating in Crawley, Horsham and will soon cover the whole of Sussex. The service is designed to support individuals with health conditions such as dementia or any limitation that affects them getting out and about, accessing services or having a social life by matching them with a volunteer Travel Buddy who provides reassurance, companionship, and door-to door-transport.
Dame Esther Rantzen has done so much to help older people to combat loneliness with her Silver Line phone line and has pledged her support for the service. Well-known for her appearances on national TV programmes, documentaries, podcasts, talk shows, she is a regular contributor to the national press.
Speaking about her support for Travel Buddy, Dame Esther said: "It is vital we do what we can to help end social isolation and loneliness in our communities. You can make all the difference to someone’s life by giving the gift of your time as a Travel Buddy volunteer. Nobody should feel they cannot get out and about and enjoy life. Volunteering has the potential to make wonderful memories for all concerned. You could be the only person they see or talk to all day so let’s connect, come together, and do our bit. You could make such a difference by joining this wonderful and flexible service and sign up as a Travel Buddy volunteer today."
Community Transport Sussex said " We are thrilled to enjoy the support of the inspirational Dame Esther Rantzen, who has done so much to help alleviate loneliness with her Silver Line helpline. We hope her support will inspire potential volunteers to sign up to be a Travel Buddy and help others to maintain their independence. You could find yourself going to the theatre or attending a local football match so it’s great for your social life too!’.
If you are interested in becoming a Travel Buddy volunteer, please contact Community Transport Sussex for more information. Together, we can help ensure that everyone can get out and enjoy a social life by keeping our communities connected.