This is a short update on the Board’s meeting on 20 April.
There is very little prospect of services resuming in the near future, we’ll let you know immediately if that changes. One thing to report, the Community Transport Association contacted us to see if we were interested in providing an on-request service hospital transport service. We decided that, apart from the risks to drivers, we didn’t have the infrastructure to organise such a service in the way that was required. We took the view that there are a number of existing hospital transport services, as well as numerous local Covid-19 support groups, and so we felt that if a volunteer wanted to help with hospital transport, it would be better if they did it through their local support group.
As I reported last time, we’re keen to move away from cash, and the current crisis seems to be getting society there faster than ever. We’re currently looking at two different systems for contactless card transactions: SUMUP, which appears to be the cheapest to operate but doesn’t work when there is no phone signal, and GoodBox, which is focused on the charity sector and is more expensive to operate but can process payments without a phone signal. We’re still looking at the practical and technical implications of both at the moment, but it’s possible that we will have a system in operation by the time we resume our services.
Last time I reported that the Lottery had extended our grant and that we had applied for a Bus Service Operator Grant (BSOG) from Cumbria County Council. We’re still waiting to hear about the Council grant – as they require confirmation from government of the overall grant for Cumbria before they make individual awards. I will be speaking to the Lottery next week about how we might use the £11,370 we have for this financial year.
The Board has agreed a job description and person specification for this new role, an element of which will be to help secure WDB’s sustainability. Our hope is that we will be able to use some of the Lottery funding mentioned above to help us with the employment of an Operations Manager. However, we agreed that we cannot proceed with recruitment while the lockdown conditions remain in place
Keep in touch
If you have questions or ideas about any of the above issues or anything else, particularly if you’d like to feed something into the next board meeting on May 18th, please email me.
All the best and stay safe.