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Scooter enables new employee to travel to work

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 25/03/2014


The scooter is financed through an interest free loan and was presented to Brandon through the Wheels to Work West scheme which helps unemployed and newly employed workers with transport to get to interviews, training and their workplace.

The 20-year-old from Alveston will use the new scooter to travel from his home to his new job as a trainee at a wood importer and distributor, Lathams Ltd in Yate.

Brandon has Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism. He has been unemployed since leaving school and was struggling to find work as his condition means it is difficult for him to communicate with new people. Brandon’s father requested assistance from the Employment Support Service at South Gloucestershire Council who helped him apply for his new job. Brandon’s local JobCentre then introduced him to the Wheels to Work scheme, a project which has been developed under the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF).

Within two weeks of meeting with LSTF access to work and skills officer Helen Harrison, Brandon had received his new scooter. He also received free insurance, road tax, training and protective clothing through the scheme. Previously, his only way of attending job interviews and getting around was by relying on his father and his employment support worker for lifts, but now thanks to the independence that the new scooter gives Brandon, his father can now also look for work himself.

Janet Heather, Brandon’s Disability Employment Support Officer, said: “Brandon has Asperger’s and was unlikely to apply for jobs on his own, so I got in contact with the company myself and suggested they invite him in. Following two interviews, 180 applicants were shortlisted down to just Brandon and two others. The advertised job eventually went to someone else, but they were so impressed with Brandon he was offered a trainee position with the company.”

Brandon is currently volunteering for two days a week at Lathams before starting full time on 1 April. He said: “Having the bike has increased my confidence in my ability to travel independently to work.”

One of the sustainable travel options available is a motor scooter loan to buy scheme with no upfront costs. Once a job offer has been secured, applicants to the scheme receive the interest free scooter loan (through Bristol Credit Union), their Certificate of Basic Training (CBT), road safety training, insurance, road tax and protective clothing (including helmet, jacket, trousers and gloves). That’s everything they need to get on the road, and once the loan is repaid, the scooter is theirs to keep.

Wheels to Work can also provide free bus tickets and loan bikes. The idea is not only to help financially at a difficult time, but also to establish habits in sustainable travel. It particularly suits people who work unusual or irregular hours, people in rural locations, and those who need to make multiple journeys as part of their work.

For more information visit www.travelwest.info/wheelstoworkwest telephone 01454 868244 or email wheelstoworkwest@southglos.gov.uk


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