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Stagecoach organises ‘Try The Bus’ session for young people with support needs in Perth

13 Oct 2021

· 18 pupils from Fairview School helped to build confidence around public transport

· Project part of Scottish Government’s Developing Our Young Workforce initiative

· Stagecoach helping young people build skills to be prepared for the world of work

Pupils from Fairview School in Perth have had the opportunity to build invaluable independent travel skills as part of a special ‘try the bus’ session organised in partnership with Stagecoach.

Fairview is focused on young people from age three to 18 with complex and enduring additional support needs

The visit yesterday (Wednesday 6 October) was aimed at helping pupils learn more about how to safely and confidently use greener public transport.

Young people boarded a Stagecoach bus in small groups, providing a chance to explore and try out the vehicle in an atmosphere free from pressure or time constraints. They experienced using the accessibility features for wheelchair users, how the ticketing system works and were given a short trip to replicate a real-life journey.

Stagecoach’s work with Fairview is part of the company’s commitment to the Scottish Government’s Developing Our Young Workforce initiative. Transport is critical in connecting young people with employment and other positive post-school destinations, as well as future work placements and volunteering opportunities.

Lorna McDougall, school coordinator for Developing the Young Workforce at Fairview, said: “Stagecoach has very kindly offered support for our pupils to develop skills towards travelling in the community. These skills include becoming familiar with public transport, safety awareness and developing confidence with the aim of promoting independent travel in the community.

“Some pupils would normally be using public transport to access activities during their school week, however, they are not able to due to Covid-19 restrictions. Therefore, by Stagecoach offering Fairview this opportunity, pupils will have the chance to develop these skills which are invaluable when accessing activities out with school, and new settings post-school.”

Steven Stewart, Director of Communications for Stagecoach Group, said: “We know how important high-quality bus and other public transport services are to people in our communities, particularly our young people as they look to their own futures and careers.

”For some people who are unfamiliar with catching the bus or who have special support needs, it can appear daunting. We were delighted to help young people at Fairview see at first hand how easy it is to take what is a greener and smarter travel option.”

For several years, Stagecoach has supported the Scottish Government's Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) initiative, which is designed to better prepare young people for the world of work.

As well as providing apprenticeships, Stagecoach has been involved with DYW regional groups set up to connect employers with education. The company offers work experience and work placement opportunities and many of its employees have been involved in mentoring programmes to help build the skills and confidence of young people.