Travel Hands

Travel Hands

At a glance

Causes

  • Local / community
  • Physical disabilities
  • Social care

Other details

Organisation type: 
Charity
Geographical remit: 
Regional

Objectives

Travel Hands charity relieves the needs of Visually Impaired People (VIP) by facilitating safe, convenient, and inexpensive outdoor travel so they can attend formal appointments, recreational activities and community events.

Travelling safely, cheaply, and independently is incredibly challenging for the 285 million Visually Impaired People (VIP) across the world. Covid-19 has made it even more challenging for them to move around in the city as they might require physical assistance to navigate. There are 42,300 VIP in London and 360,000 all over the UK trying to find a solution to the problem.

In London, travelling for a VIP usually ends up twice as expensive as for a sighted person on the same route. TFL Staff provide great support inside the station to the VIP. But, it is difficult for them to drop the VIP to the bus stop next road due to less staff presence. In this scenario, if VIP don't get any other help, majority end up paying a £2.40 taxi ride. VIP within our network have shared their concerns about travelling and cite that to cover 10 mins walking distance, they have to book a taxi (including waiting time, payment etc). This is expensive and is a blow to their self-confidence because of the short distance involved.

With the journeys conducted in London, the service has proven to save 30 minutes for every journey undertaken and £40 on travel costs per month as compared to pre-pandemic statistics for an active VIP in London. VIP have used Travel Hands for leisure and entertainment purposes they did not try before such as visits to shopping malls, museums, art galleries, boat rides, and theatres. Travel Hands benefits the sighted guides and VIP by encouraging them to be more physically active, improving social interactions to avoid loneliness, and increasing awareness around disability by creating empathetic short stories.

Activities

Travel Hands eases the outdoor commute of VIP by pairing them with sighted & verified volunteers to walk together to similar destinations. Since 44% of VIP in the UK use smartphones, we operate in a hybrid model: call centre and mobile- web apps. Customer service monitors the journeys of our users when they are active for improved safety. With our technology, a journey request is sent by a VIP or by backend team on behalf of VIP to nearby available volunteers. The accepting volunteer will then pick up the VIP and walk towards the requested destination. 

The VIP pay a small fee per journey and Volunteers help VIP in a flexible way and walk more. They are vetted by the Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and trained with our online or in person course. As a Thank You, our volunteers get reward incentives that can be redeemed from our app.

No current opportunities

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