Drivers from Stagecoach South’s Worthing depot had a chance to enhance their customer service skills this week with charities Sight Support Worthing and the RNIB in a ‘Swap with Me’ day.
The event which took place on Wednesday 21 June enabled visually impaired participants and attendees from the charity the chance to talk to drivers about the challenges faced on a daily basis when travelling on public transport, something which many take for granted.
Charity spokesperson Frances Pritchard said “This ‘Swap with me’ event was held to demonstrate the barriers people with sight loss face when travelling on buses. It was an opportunity to share their experiences with drivers in an informal and relaxed setting”.
A team of drivers took part in the event which also provided them with a chance to wear simulation specs and blind folds, which give drivers the idea of what it’s like to board the bus with a visual impairment. Volunteers from the charity gave them help and advice when it came to buying a ticket and finding a seat.
Sight Support Worthing, formally known as Worthing Society for the Blind, an independent charity first established in 1910 aims to promote the general welfare, provision of sources and relief for persons who have sight impairment. ‘Swap with Me’ events are supported by the Royal National Institute of Blind People.
Rob Vince Operations Manager for Worthing Depot says “The Swap Me event is a great way to enhance our drivers training and continued development as well as forming a great partnership with the Sight Support Charity. We hope it will give local people with visual impairments confidence when using Stagecoach services in the future.
We have recently introduced a new training programme which features similar activities to support all our new drivers in assisting customers with visual and physical impairments. However we also hope to take many of our findings from the ‘live’ experience back to our regional training team to help develop future training programmes.”