Daventry Area Community Transport

Award amount: £38,134

Organisation: Daventry Area Community Transport 

Extension to the Mobility Shop

The Charity

Daventry Area Community Transport (DACT) is a community led, volunteer charity that provides a range of transport services across the county. These include a car scheme, mobility vehicle rental and sales, a servicing and repairs service and mobility aids shop. The charity also organises regular days out to places of interest across the UK and provides minibuses and drivers to a wide range of community groups who cannot provide that service themselves.

In 2017 DACT received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services.

The need

One of the many reasons older people become lonely and isolated is due to physical impairment and/or lack of confidence in getting out and about. DACT tackles these issues through the provision of mobility aids to buy or rent and other services, which help older people continue to lead independent lives.

The charity carried out a local survey with older people in the area, which indicated that they would like a local service that provided new and recycled mobility equipment with a wider product range and opportunities to try equipment out as well as maintenance and repair services. They were able to do this on a small scale in their former shop; however, due to size restrictions, DACT was not able to fit in all ranges of mobility aids.

In terms of location, in Daventry there are increasing pedestrianised areas, which means it has become more difficult to gain access to shops, services and facilities for older people with mobility impairment. The hilly terrain that surrounds the town also makes it difficult for older people, as well as a lack of suitable public transport.

Mobility equipment can be expensive and can consequently restrict those who can use it. The charity recognised this and through their repair service, DACT is able to provide suitable previously-owned mobility equipment at affordable prices.

The project

The Trust awarded a grant to DACT in 2017 to contribute to the extension of their current shop building to accommodate a larger Mobility Shop and a Mobility Information and Advice Centre with services entirely staffed by volunteers and one paid Manager.

A dedicated information and advice centre has allowed DACT to provide tailored advice to older people and inform them of the different mobility aid options. A bigger shop has given DACT the space to stock a larger range of items, providing older people with greater choice. This extra space allows older people to test the different mobility aids to ensure they are using the most suitable equipment.

DACT’s goal is to help people choose the right equipment to enable them to stay in their homes as they age or deal with any progressive mobility issues they may have.

The intention of the charity is to use any surplus from sales to underpin their other community transport and mobility services. It is great to hear that the charity is working towards being self-sustaining.

Is it working?

Following the recent premises extension, DACT has seen a major change in the impact it has had with its customers. It is now much more than a retail shop. It is fast becoming an Independent living & wellbeing information and advice hub for the local community.

Customer review “I was given expert advice and great personal customer service, which you don’t get on the internet, as I have never had to buy anything like this before, staff reassured me that I was buying the right equipment”….

Customer reviewI had a need to install a stair lift at relatively short notice. The DACT Mobility Team were great, really helpful and communicated with me throughout the installation process, it was very easy & all clearly explained. The volunteers in the shop are knowledgeable and very helpful. I trust their advice as I use the service weekly for the scooter hire service, where they always helpfully assist me to my car. It is an invaluable service for me due to my disabilities”….