Driving change for people in Cobham
A Community Grant of £30,000, over a three-year period, will help to secure the community bus service, Chatterbus, which provides free travel to people on low incomes in the Cobham area.
Chatterbus, a not-for-profit community initiative, is managed by local volunteers and operated by East Surrey Rural Transport Partnership. It was started seven years ago to address the lack of affordable transport in Cobham and the surrounding area and has been a firm local favourite ever since. It has been so popular that a second bus was added to the route in January of this year.
As well as offering free travel to those facing financial hardship, the service helps children get to school and adults get to work, cutting down the number of cars on our local roads. It also enables people to access the jobcentre, leisure centre and larger, more reasonably priced supermarkets outside the area. For many older people, the bus is a social highlight, reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation.
A recently retired driver said, “I had the pleasure of meeting so many characters on the bus. Some of the kindest, most caring people, as well as some of the funniest and most clever people I have ever met. All have entertained me throughout my countless journeys, but I have also met some of the saddest, sometimes poorest and loneliest of people I have ever known which further emphasised to me that the Chatterbus really is all about the people.”