We were cordially invited to The National Assembly for Wales last week as they unveiled the results of the study into Bus and Community Transport for Wales.
Often the forgotten transport link we (together with the Community Transport Association) were delighted that the Enterprise and Business Committee recommended that The Welsh Government “should develop a Community Transport Strategy in consultation with the sector” and “work with local authorities to promote an understanding of community transport”
Desperate to see our good looking passengers, Gareth at The National Assembly bribed them with the promise of tea and welsh cakes.
One of our lovely volunteer drivers Roger with Sian from CTA Wales and our Chairman Dave Palmer
At last with the generous support of our lovely customers we are proud to announce the arrival of our brand new minibus!
Feast your eyes on this big beauty. It’s capable of holding 13 passengers, 1 wheelchair user and 2 companions. It wasn’t cheap at £50,000 but we think it’s vital that our customers have the very best in safety and comfort.
To book a trip on this lovely new vehicle please call 02920 490335.
Hi there! My name is Alfie and I spend most of my days helping out in the Vest Community Transport office. Unofficially I am Head of Security. Each day is different but the goal is the same, to make sure all our customers enjoy safe, comfortable journeys.
This morning we arrived at 7:30 and after making a quick morning cuppa, Caroline and I set to work. First job of the day is:-
To make sure all the vehicles are clean, fuelled and checked. Every day is special but today is particularly special because we have some very exciting trips to do.
We have our Golden Oldies group on a shopping trip to Street in Somerset, those girls know how to shop. We have our Sully Pensioners going for a slap up meal in St Athan’s Golf Club (let’s hope they behave themselves there, it’s very posh). We are taking a lovely lady to Glamorgan Holiday Home in Porthcawl where she will have a week of rest and relaxation and we hope some sunshine.
All this is on top our day centre and ring and ride work. No wonder I am exhausted at the end of the day.
We love our customers here; I really like the ones who send me in squeaky toys and doggy sweets.
If your group would like to have a fun day out shopping, eating, relaxing anywhere in the UK, call Caroline on
02920 490335 for a price and driver availability.
Individuals can access our Ring and Ride and Dial a Bus services. Just click the link on the site for further information.
In this post John, one of our amazing volunteer drivers, tells us how he got involved with Vest Community Transport and a bit about a typical day on the buses…
In 2011, after 40 odd years working for the MOD, I took early retirement. I’d often seen the VEST buses out and around Cardiff, and even collecting my next door neighbour on occasions. So one day, on an impulse, I thought I would give them a ring and volunteer some of my time. Well I have never regretted that call, it has given me a part time role within an organisation that brings so much to Cardiff residents.
I drive for the Community Transport side of VEST. This can be taking Groups to regular weekly activities, or one off visits, to locations both within Wales and further afield.
A typical day for me involves taking and returning clients from the “Stroke Group”from their homes around North Cardiff to their weekly meetings in Whitchurch. There is normally time for a quick coffee with them before moving on to my next job, getting the elderly patrons of the Bethel Chapel in Whitchurch in for their lunch club. After getting both of these Groups home after their outings, it’s time to get across to Splott in time to return The Moorland Road Centre clients home after their lunch and Bingo has finished.
Working with these Groups involves more than just driving. Some clients have age related conditions, mobility issues or are wheelchair users. But thanks to the training I’ve had, I have the skills and confidence to give them the help they need. All us volunteers have formal MIDAS training, and an experienced staff member accompanied me on my first few sessions.
Volunteering is about giving something for others, but honestly I get so much from this myself. I have a sense of purpose and satisfaction from helping others and a deeper understanding and appreciation of the needs of others. I have made good friends both with members of the various Groups I work with and also with the full time staff members from Vest Community Transport. I especially enjoy the banter with the full time drivers, even when they take the mick out of my reversing skill, marking me out of ten in the “Strictly style” was the best.
So if you are thinking about giving some time towards VEST Community Transport, just do it you will not regret it for a moment.
Christmas is a very busy time for us at Vest Community Transport. It is a time when people come together to share food, memories and enjoy the company of friends.
Before Christmas buses headed off in convoy to the Atlantic Hotel in Porthcawl, where the members of the Cardiff Institute for the Blind who meet at St Andrew’s Church in Roath every Thursday, enjoyed a slap up meal. Another group of members, this time the Institute’s Gardening club, headed to the Seashore Grill in Sully for their Christmas lunch.
Other trips this year included members of the Adamsdown Day Centre heading to the Cedar Tree, Sully pensioners enjoying a get together at St Athan’s Golf Club and the Stroke Association’s trip to the Thistle Hotel. It is not just groups that use our services. This year we also had the pleasure of taking one lady to London so she could fly out to Goa and spend Christmas with her family.
Many of our customers would not be able to meet up with friends without our buses, or the help of our drivers. Thank you to all our wonderful drivers – we couldn’t do any of this without you.
11 November, is an important day for many of our customers. It is a day many remember husbands and fathers who served, and often died, fighting in the world wars. Sadly, conflict is not a thing of the past and increasingly we have customers who have sons and daughters now serving around the world. To remember all who have served the VEST Community Transport buses will be wearing their poppies with pride.
Caroline talked to one of our customers, Winnie Andrews, about her husband’s experiences in the war. Read about Fred’s story here. On 11 November we remember Fred, his colleagues and all those who have fought and died in conflict around the world.
We’d like to welcome you to our new look website. We hope you like it as much as we do. Voluntary Emergency Service Transport, fondly known as VEST, has been providing community transport to the people of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan for over 40 years. Each week hundreds of people use VEST buses to go shopping, to meet friends and take day trips. Our customers are unable to use regular public transport, due to age, disability or isolation but by using the specially equipped VEST buses, with our door to door service, they can get about and continue to enjoy life to the full.
Our old name didn’t really tell people what we do. So we have decided to change it to VEST Community Transport. Just a new name that says a little more about what we do. Our services, of course, will all stay the same.
We will be updating this site regularly with news and information, so please visit us again.