What we did:
First Ashley met up with Tiago and went out together to the bus station to talk about the journey and go on a bus together for the first time. We had a drink out and looked at a map. We found that a bus that goes past a road near Tiago's house would take him all the way to the meeting place for Poppies Care Farm. The bus would then also bring him home in the opposite direction.
We started just doing the morning journey together, meeting him at his house then walking to the bus station. Tiago was able to identify the number bus he needed and Ashley showed him how to make sure it stopped. Ashley helped Tiago check he had the right money and how to put it in the machine. Tiago then had to learn the best place to press the bell and get off the bus. Next he would meet Ashley at the bus station and get on the bus himself without help (checking the money himself), and press the bell without prompting. Finally, Ashley met him at the bus station and then drove to watch him get off the bus independently at the other end of the journey.
During this time, Tiago had applied for a travel pass which enabled him free access to the buses after 9.30am that meant on the return journey he didn’t have to pay. Reversing the journey was a lot easier as he had gained so much confidence from the mornings. Tiago already knew what route the bus took and where he needed to get off. Together Tiago and Ashley assessed the risks and made sure he had identification, a mobile phone with relevant contact numbers, found places to cross the road and looked at any other potential dangers or problems.
The process took about 8 weeks and we only had one issue when the bus just didn’t turn up in the morning and we had to wait for the next one. Tiago was extremely excited when he travelled home alone on the bus for the first time. Ashley said "I watched his confidence grow and after our work together was able to withdraw support. There was no doubt he had the ability to complete the journeys without support, and has the skills to solve any problems that come with travelling alone."
Tiago looking at the bus timetable
Tiago waiting for his bus
Tiago getting on the bus without assistance
Tiago at the farm
What did people say:
Tiago said; “I’m very happy now. I feel great.”
“I’m very proud of myself and good to travel on the bus alone”
“I was nervous the first time but now its fine. I haven’t had any problems”
Tiago told Ashley that he has been using the buses to travel to town alone, which is an added advantage of travel training. Once you have the confidence to do one journey, adding others are not so hard.