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Independent travel training

Independent travel training is specialist training run by Ealing Mencap, designed to help your child learn the skills and gain the confidence to travel independently using public transport.

Travel Training is a scheme run by Hillingdon Council's travel training partner Ealing Mencap. We offer person-centred, one-to-one training to build the skills and confidence needed to help young people learn to travel safely and independently.

The training covers several key areas, including:

  • learning a route
  • road safety
  • problem solving
  • asking for help
  • stranger danger

How does it work? 

Normally training with students is on two set days every week, existing travel arrangements continue on the days where travel training does not take place. A timetable will be arranged with you, and school transport if necessary. If your child does not have an under-16 Oyster card or Freedom Pass we can help you apply for one.

On the agreed days the Travel Trainer will meet your child at home in the morning and train with them on the safest route to school, and back again in the afternoon. As training progresses your child will begin to do more of the journey independently, while assessments are carried out to check their learning. Your child may also be offered a day placement during school time to do additional work tailored to their individual needs. 

How long does it take?

There is no set time limit to Travel Training placements; students become independent once they are able to meet the criteria in our training. You will be kept fully-informed about your child's training programme and involved in all decisions and planning. You will be given your Travel Trainer's mobile number which you can contact at any point if you have questions or concerns.

What happens when the training is finished?

Once we all agree that your child is safe and ready, and all our assessments are complete, your child will begin to travel independently. At this point your child will be shadowed on one of their journeys to and from school by a Travel Training they don't know to check for any problems. They will be shadowed three and six months after they have begun to travel independently, to ensure that they are continuing to travel safely. If we/you, or your child have any problems or concerns once independent travel is underway, we will offer further training and support. 

Even after the six month shadow we can offer follow-up training if any problems arise, so please get in touch with us if you need to.

What can you and your child expect from Travel Training? 

  • offers your child the opportunity to learn to travel independently on public transport within a well-structured, comprehensive training programme run by experienced professionals
  • to learn to travel to and from school safely on their own and in the process they will build confidence and communication skills, increase their ability to solve problems, and learn to take responsibility for their own safety

Importantly, independent travel will open up opportunities for your child socially, and enable them to access services or work placements further down the line, when travel assistance is no longer an option. It will increases self-esteem and give the young people we work with a great sense of achievement.

Taking the step to independence can be a cause of anxiety for a lot of parents, but we will support you and your child throughout the process. In our experience, Travel Training has hugely positive results for everyone involved.

Who is eligible and how do I apply?

In order to for your child to be considered for travel training they first need to be assessed as eligible for travel assistance

Submit an application

Travel training may not be suitable for all young people; the trainers will carry out an assessment to determine this. If suitable for Travel Training, council provided transport or a personal transport budget may be offered as in interim until a travel trainer is available.

For more information on independent travel training contact Ealing Mencap travel.training@ealingmencap.org.uk or on 01895 250 485.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 08 Sep 2017 at 10:07