Wiltshire Council has scooped two national awards for its innovative work to help young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities travel to work or education and gain general independence.
The Employment and Community Skills Team won the Best Sustainable Travel Initiative - Education Award and also the Contribution to Sustainable Travel Award - Team at a special awards ceremony by Modeshift, which shares best practice in sustainable travel.
The Employment and Community Skills Team won the sustainable travel award for the 'Get Connected' project, which started four years ago to support young people with SEND who wanted to travel independently to ensure they had the skills to do so safely.
The team works with, up to six special schools in Wiltshire, supporting young people to learn road awareness and safety in a classroom setting through worksheets, interactive tools and multiple-choice tests before taking that knowledge out for practical sessions local to the school and further afield. This can be for travel to school, post-16 education, for general confidence or to go to community events.
The second accolade was the sustainable travel award - team. This was in recognition of the team's work with people with disabilities aged 14+, to support them on their pathway to paid employment, or as close to that as possible. The support includes independent travel training to further education, to community access, voluntary work and Supported Internship. Finally there is also training for support for travel to paid employment. The support helps inspire confidence, good mental health, increased wellbeing, choice and control, transferable skills, social interaction and economic wellbeing.
Cllr Laura Mayes Cabinet Member for Children's Services, Education and Skills said: "Congratulations to this amazing team who have helped so many young people gain valuable independence to go to college, to work and generally to feel more confident in everyday life. Having independence is important to all of us. This scheme works with young people so they have the necessary skills to take on new challenges and gain that independence. It is about travelling safely but it's also about building on that confidence to take on other challenges, to broaden your horizons and ultimately have more choices. This recognition is very well deserved."