What our members think

"Shopping is no longer a chore"

Sylvia was told about the BAT Bus by her friend, Roz, who has been using the shopping service for some years. Now Sylvia can simply pick up her phone and call for the BAT Bus, shopping is no longer a chore. Recently, Sylvia had a nasty fall and damaged her back but a Volunteer was found who met the bus and took Sylvia shopping in a wheelchair.

"I am an 82 year old, still managing to live independently, but suffer with stenosis of the spine which makes walking very difficult" said Sylvia, with feeling "When I heard about the BAT Bus my life changed and I am now able to cope by getting to the shops. The BAT Bus is a wonderful, caring and dedicated service, I have made many friends and love being able to get out and about. Without the BAT Bus calling I do not know how I would manage."

"The BAT Bus reaches out into the community" 

Chris, a regular BAT Bus member, uses the BAT Bus twice a week to visit the Castlepoint Shopping Centre. Chris has suffered with Parkinson's disease for the last 15 years and is now totally reliant on his full time live in carer, Joachim. Without the BAT Bus calling for Chris and Joachim they would need to book an accessible taxi to go to the shops which can be expensive.

"By using the BAT Bus I can get out and about and not feel so isolated, everyone on the BAT Bus is so friendly and I have made many new friends. Also, my carer can come with me as I need to be pushed in my wheelchair. We have also been out on several BAT Bus outings which I have really enjoyed" said Chris.

"I now feel that I can stay in my own home and keep my independence"

Twice a week Jean uses a Community Car driver to take her to a GP appointment and a trip to her Hairdresser. Jean has difficulty in walking and would need to travel on two buses to reach her Hairdresser. She also calls for the BAT Bus for all her shopping needs and often goes out on some of the afternoon outings. Jean chooses to go to Castlepoint Shopping Park every Monday where she can be dropped off at the Shopmobility unit and takes an electric scooter to do all her shopping.

As Jean recently said, "I use all of the services offered by sedcat and I am so grateful, now I can stay in my own home and manage quite nicely by calling for a community car driver or the BAT Bus. My regular driver, Diana, arrives at my house with a smile and she always helps me into her car, I am never rushed. I really feel that I can now call Diana my friend and we always seem to have time for a chat which is lovely. I now feel that I can stay in my own home and keep my independence"

"Sit back and shop using a power chair, it's easy and it can be fun"

For most of the time, Chris spends time at home but he still wants, and needs, to get out and about. Although calling for a taxi is not a problem, it does become one as soon as he reaches his destination. Having suffered a stroke some years ago, Chris is unable to move as he would like and is totally dependent on a power chair for his mobility needs. Although he has his own power chair at home, leaving the house without it can prove difficult.

Happily, some years ago his wife and carer Ann discovered the Shopmobility unit in the Castlepoint Shopping Park in Bournemouth. Now, they can both pop into Shopmobility where Chris hires a left handed power chair and they go shopping together. In fact, Chris often takes himself off to B&Q whilst Ann gets on with her own shopping needs and they meet up for coffee and then lunch.

"Without Shopmobility I would really struggle" said Chris, "and by using the power chair, I keep my independence and don't need Ann to push me, it is such a godsend"

You can find Shopmobility in Bournemouth on the lower ground car park at Castlepoint, Aisle 11 and also at Boscombe in the Sovereign Centre car park. There is a wide selection of three and four wheeled scooters to choose from, as well as manual and powered wheelchairs.

‘’Ron helped me with my rollator and took me down to the ward which was wonderful as my eyesight is not good. It’s a worry when you’re not sure where to go and it has also saved me a lot of money’’ 

Margaret has been told that she is not considered to have a 'medical need' and therefore does not qualify for free hospital transport which is provided by the NHS. She was told to either get a bus or a taxi, neither of which were good options for her as she has difficulties using public transport and taxis can be expensive. Margaret was able to use the HOSPITAL HOP, a daily shuttle service to RBH & Christchurch hospitals to get to several appointments and was delighted by the help she received to get to the clinic and the affordibility of the service.