Update from chair

Despite the current circumstances let me extend my warmest greeting to you all – staff, volunteers and the wider community.

It now seems like an eternity since the coronavirus (COVID19) lockdown and though I wish otherwise that eternity does not appear to have an end in sight.

Brent Community Transport (BCT) is at its best when wheels are rolling and services are being delivered by our caring staff. BCT like so many other organisations is at the mercy of a quick solution to COVID 19.

The closure of day centres for older people, for young people with special needs, youth centres and schools have had a significant impact on our operations. The Door-to-Door services (such as personal budget & ComRide) catering for the need of individual transport are also in stasis. Understandably, most people are concerned for their health and welfare and in compliance with the Government Coronavirus guidelines, we are staying at home – thus saving lives and protecting the NHS.

With most of our vehicle’s stationary in the depot, currently on much reduced usage due to COVID 19, only some of our services are in operation such as our D.a.R services (working on behalf of Dial-a-Ride) with our keyworker drivers.

What have we been up to?

Well, we have been instrumental by offering our services and resources (minibuses, drivers and assistants) voluntarily, working with other organisations such as Sufra (the lead foodbank organisation) distributing food parcels to individuals and families in hardship. In the space of just two weeks, two days a week we have distributed a little over 400 food parcels. A huge debt of gratitude to our volunteer drivers & helpers for their unselfish contribution to a worthy cause in helping those less fortunate than ourselves. Thank you and Well done!

Social distancing

Social distancing and the logistics of implementation will see a much reduced seating capacity on our buses. It is going to be a challenge to fulfil the 2-metre distancing and implement government/health guidelines whilst providing an economic and viable service to our members and the community.

The future

I wish I could say it will all be over at such and such a date and time but sadly stating the obvious, I cannot. We simply don’t know when things will be back to some kind of normality. Day centres who generally cater for those most isolated and vulnerable members in our society are unlikely to be back any day soon. Despite the government saying schools albeit early years, can return from the 1st June 2020 there is still doubt as to whether this will happen and therefore it has impacted our services. Nonetheless, we look forward to a brighter tomorrow. We will overcome! We have done it before and we will again.

We’re OVERCOMERS

BCT has faced many challenges in the past such as relocating our depot and offices on two previous occasions when the landlord wanted their premises/land back for redevelopment. On one occasion, a number of our buses were vandalised causing damage with a cost of thousands of pounds to repair and put back on the road. The last major obstacle we overcame was a devastating fire that destroyed the entire building that housed our business and at least over fifty / sixty others. In every single case when faced with the challenge, the collectiveness and collaborative working of individuals and organisations has enabled BCT to rise above and to OVERCOME all these adversities.

Condolences

I would like to conclude this update and I am sure I speak on behalf of everyone at BCT (Board Members, staff and volunteers) as we send our sincere condolences to every family up and down the country that has suffered bereavement of any sort but mostly as a result of COVID19.

Once again, BCT will OVERCOME this present challenge and you are OVERCOMERS, so please stay safe and be blessed.

Moses


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