Alpine Travel & Jones Holidays are Here to Help 16/06/2020

The latest guest blog post has been written by Christopher Owens, Managing Director at Alpine Travel. Christopher provides a recap of the support Alpine Travel and Jones Holidays have been providing to the local community through their Here to Help scheme.

Coaches are an intrinsic part of the communities they serve. When the coronavirus crisis began, the teams at Alpine Travel and Jones Holidays knew that we could support our local communities. We have an older population in North Wales because people retire here, and when some were told to shield due to health reasons they found themselves feeling extremely isolated. This was when we launched our Here to Help scheme.

The way the scheme works is that people call our helpline or our special email support address, providing information of the support they need. We have all sorts of requests for help, and most are prescription deliveries, but have included anything from hospital visits to buying bedding for somebody’s pet rabbit! 

To spread the word, we promoted Here to Help via our own social media channels. The support we had was great, and our messages were shared by local community action groups, local councillors as well as members of both UK and Welsh Parliaments. Various local help groups now sign post vulnerable people to us rather than using the local authority led voluntary sector, and whilst many people have wished to pay for our service, it has been completely free of charge and recipients who have insisted have made contributions to our 2020 nominated charity, Action for Children.

The coach industry is full of dedicated and passionate people, and a vast majority of those engaged in our Here to Help scheme are on furlough and have given up their time voluntarily. It really has been humbling to see so many of our employees coming forwards offering their help whether that’s drivers making deliveries or admin staff taking calls and bookings. We have now made more than 4,000 deliveries and are sending out 5 or 6 vehicles each day doing deliveries and prescription runs across most of North and North-East Wales.

Since setting up the Here to Help scheme we have been inundated with calls and emails, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of support we’ve received from individuals and organisations. I know there have been other coach operators across the UK playing an important role keeping supplies moving and keeping the most vulnerable people in society connected with essential services. As an industry we are facing difficult times, but I hope that by spreading the word about our scheme more people will begin to realise how much coaches are well and truly embedded into local communities.

You can keep up to date with the latest Alpine Travel and Jones Holidays activity on their social media accounts:

  • @AlpineTravelNW for Twitter and @AlpineTravelNW for Facebook
  • @Jonesholidays for Twitter and @JonesHolidayNW for Facebook