A conversation with Anthony, Centre manager of The Wally Foster Community Centre, Homerton
Posted: 25 May 2016
“The idea of having one of the JoinBookDrive mini-buses at the Wally Foster Community Centre was first introduced to me by Claire Smith (Head of Community Transport and Stakeholder Engagement) when she popped into the community centre one day and enthusiastically explained the concept to me.
Of course, to me, the benefits of having the service at The Wally Foster were obvious straight away. The simplicity of the idea appealed to me as well as the price and the convenience of the cash-free refuelling. Having a clean, modern mini-bus etc. In addition, having it based at The Wally Foster Community Centre, means that it is easy to find for local community groups and wealso have a secure car park with CCTV in front of building.
As a new project it is going well. We are keen to support it’s promotion and have offered Hackney Community Transport a stall at our event in the coming months.
Many of the groups using the community centre are already aware of the service including Forever Young (a club for retirees), Getalong Gang play group, Little Saints nursery group and local church groups.”
Anthony also mentioned that prior to JoinBookDrive, due to financial constraints, many local groups had to think long and hard about having organised trips and outings, despite Group Transport mini-bus hire still being available at Hackney Community Transport; but, with the ‘outstanding’ value for money proposition that JoinBookDrive gives its service members, those outings are finally within reach for far more.
Anthony has done his MiDAS (Mini-bus driver awareness) training but mentiopned that quite a few groups lack MiDAS trained drivers:
Q. Can HCT supply drivers?
A: The main benefit is that these vehicles can be driven by anyone. MiDAS is £20 through HCT and is delivered twice a month! However, if you still need a driver, then, please do let us know and we will work with you to ensure that your trip happens (Claire Smith).
“Many less internet-savvy people are still a bit wary of the system being online but I have been helping out with getting people their memberships and with bookings."
The conversation ends with a smile from Anthony.
"We are pleased to be working in partnership with you Anthony ... thank you, from Hackney Community Transport! (Claire Smith and the Team at HCT).