Richmond and Kingston Accessible Transport (RAKAT) are the 1st organisation to receive our £100 contribution, with their great picture which they sent in of 73 year old volunteer driver Patricia Wilkinson.
RAKAT are an organisation based in Richmond and Kingston, Surrey, who over their 20 years of operation have accumulated a total of 27 minibuses, of which 18 are accessible, incorporating lifts and low floor steps to support elderly passengers.
From the beginning RAKATs aims have been to provide group transport provision for other community and voluntary organisations in their local borough. This has very much stayed true through the years and they are now looking at continuing the development of the local transport infrastructure by working in partnership with other transport providers such as Transport for London and Dial-a-Ride schemes, which in turn enables more journeys to be completed and a more responsive community led service in their area.
One of the partnerships which have been formed is with Hampton and Hampton Hill Voluntary Care, who have been operating in the area since 1974.
Their aim is to provide help and support to those in need which bodes well with both organisations and a partnership known as the, Hampton Enterprise Project was formed. The project incorporates a voluntary care scheme, shopping bus, a Plus Bus service and Dial-a-Ride services which offer door to door transport for the elderly and those with disabilities for whom conventional transport provision is inaccessible.
Not only do RAKAT help with transport for elderly residents, but provide a Driver Training Department which trains and assesses potential drivers to the nationally recognised MIDAS standard. This scheme has been developed in conjunction with the Community Transport Association and has helped train over 500 drivers to MIDAS standards, ensuring the safety of their passengers.
We are delighted to announce Richmond and Kingston Accessible Transport as our 1st winners because of their amazing commitment to their community and the residents within who we’re sure are highly appreciative.