Travel Training gives people with special educational needs or disabilities the confidence and skills to travel independently on buses, trains and walking routes.
Being able to travel on public transport is a key life skill. It lets you make choices about how you live, go about your daily life, and fulfil your potential. Our expert team of travel trainers train students and adults on a one-to-one basis, usually on a home to school, college or day centre journey.
Recently, we met with Mark, one of our travel trainers to find out a bit more about his role.
‘Hi Mark, can you tell us a bit about yourself?’
My name is Mark and I have been working as a travel trainer in Suffolk for the past two years. My role as a travel trainer takes me all over Suffolk, working predominantly with younger people, helping and encouraging them to become safe and independent travellers. Before becoming a travel trainer I worked in a high school as a learning support assistant and before that I worked for many years as a firefighter.
‘What made you to apply for a role at ECC?’
When I saw an advert for the role of travel trainer working in Suffolk I knew it would be a role that suited me. After working in a high school for a few years I realised that I loved working with and helping young people with additional learning needs, however, the role of travel trainer would allow me to work independently, in different locations and in all weathers; no two days are the same, which really makes the role appealing! The role of travel trainer allows me to manage my own work calendar; I have a register of students and complete flexibility over how I organise and complete the training.
‘Can you tell us a bit more about being a travel trainer?’
My role involves training and encouraging predominantly young people, but some adults, with additional learning needs and/or physical disabilities to become safe and independent travellers. This can involve a journey to school, college, work placement or even to help someone leave the house and visit a friend or relative. I live in north Suffolk and most of my work is based there, however, another real advantage of the role is that I get to spend time working in other parts of Suffolk, enjoying the outside life and perhaps visiting places that I have not been to before. The role is really varied, including practical training, some work in schools and colleges and meeting parents and students from different backgrounds. All our work must be documented and we are really lucky in being able to work from home on occasion. Helping young people and the personal reward that provides is a real privilege of the role; the feeling that you get when you see a past student travelling safely on public transport is brilliant!
No two days are the same and this combined with working outside in the big wide world is something that I really enjoy.
‘This sounds really rewarding – What would your advice be to anyone considering a career as a Travel Trainer?’
If you have a background in working with young people with learning disabilities and are looking for a career that is perhaps a bit different, then please consider the role of Travel Trainer.
It is a role that can provide you with flexibility, working independence, fresh air and exercise. One where you can make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable students and in return provides a great sense of fulfilment.
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