Hugo's story - travelling independently
Travel training helps young people with SEND become comfortable with travelling independently. Our experienced Travel Trainers give the young person all the encouragement, information and support they need, and work with them on a one to one basis
Hugo was 18 when he started on the Travel Training programme, and the team have now been working with him for around 6 months. He lives in an area that is relatively remote, and goes to College at North Herts College in Stevenage. Prior to his involvement with the team he had never travelled independently before and occasionally travelled with his family on the train.
Hugo has made excellent progress and has worked hard to develop his independent travel skills around road safety, reading timetables and planning a journey, communicating with safe strangers and knowing what to do if he needs help or if he makes a mistake.
He has recently completed his first independent journey from home to college on the train, and has since made the journey a number of times. This was a massive step for Hugo, who rightly so, was very proud of his achievements; “I was a bit scared at first because I don't know where to get off but then I had been taught there were only 3 stops from where I live to Stevenage. After a few times with help I feel really grown up and I feel independent. I can travel on a train and buy a ticket by myself.” His Mum also noticed how proud of himself he was and has seen his confidence grow.
Part of the work of the Travel Trainers involve building relationships and working with the families of students. We understand and take the time to listen to parent’s concerns, and we acknowledge the worries that allowing your son or daughter to travel independently can bring. However, the patience and expertise of the Travel Trainers ensure that once the students engage in the programme, the progress (which is all logged and evidenced) and development of skills and increased confidence are apparent for all to see.
Hugo’s Mum Margot told us; “We were really apprehensive about Hugo travelling by himself. With the support of the Travel Training Team we were able to trust Hugo and face our fears to allow him to go alone. Without support these steps are very difficult for us. It's amazing, he is confident in buying a ticket, getting the right train and getting off at Stevenage. He is even able to use the Trainline app to check train times. Thank you so much to the Travel Trainer for building our confidence as much as Hugo's!!”
Travel Training your son/daughter
If your son/daughter does not meet the eligibility criteria and you are interested in doing some travel training with them, the Travel Training team have produced a toolkit which you can use. It contains the areas you should cover, strategies you can use, some top tips as well as a useful resources section. There are two versions, one which is an interactive, online copy and the other which is printer friendly, so you can print it off and use it in the way that best suits you.