How travel training is giving Sheffield residents a new lease of life

David Knapp and trainer travel Lydia Shapley.
David Knapp and trainer travel Lydia Shapley.
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Adults with learning disabilities are being urged to take part in a travel training scheme that will enable them to get out and about more.

Sheffield City Council has provided travel training to 20 adults with learning disabilities in the last year - and the authority is urging others to join up as part of a plan to train 30 more people over the next 12 months.

One resident to benefit from the scheme is 50-year-old Sheffield man David Knapp, who told how it has given him a new lease of life since he was teamed up with travel trainer Lydia Shapley.

David was living with his parents and only travelling alone on council minibuses. He wasn’t going to some of the places he wanted to as he was scared of making the journeys.

But since his training he has moved away from his family home and now travels by bus to visit more of the places he wants to. He takes the bus to work and goes out for meals with his parents.

He said: “I didn’t want to travel. I just froze. And then I thought no don’t freeze. Just go and do it. And I did. And I’ve been going backwards and forwards for about a year on and off a bus.

“It’s made me do what I wanted to do for ages – go further than I have been. And it’s so enjoyable.

“I’m just going to keep on travelling.”

Lydia added: “It was lovely seeing David becoming more confident after travel training and being able to access his community.

“It’s definitely worth putting people forward for travel training because people do under-estimate how capable people are and until you try it you don’t know.

“There are several cases where people have said there’s no way they’ll be able to do that and now they’re travelling independently.”

Travel training is available to adults who receive services from the council’s community learning disability team.

To find out more visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/traveltraining or ring 0114 226 2900.

The council is promoting travel training as part of this week’s Learning Disability Week.

Activities taking place in Sheffield include:-

*The Big Health Event at St Mary’s Church, Bramall Lane, on Wednesday, June 22, which is run by Sheffield Health and Social Care and highlights the services and support on offer for people with a learning disability and their carers.

*Barbecue and country and western cabaret evening at Newfields Learning and Resource Centre on Peveril Road, Eckington, on Wednesday, June 22, from 4.30pm to 8.30pm.

*Boccia with a twist at Newfields Learning and Resource Centre on Thursday, June 23, from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

*Treasure hunt at Graves Park on Friday, June 24, from 10.30am to 2pm.

Contact Jill, Julie or Stacie at Newfields on 01246 431465 if you would like to attend any of the events.