Nidd Plus release day trips 2023 in bid to tackle loneliness in Nidderdale

Nidd Plus has been awarded a recent grant which is providing days out for people with no access to transport and who suffer from social isolation.
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In July 2022, as part of the Department for Transport’s “Tackling Loneliness through Community Transport” fund, the government reacted to help the growing number of people who reported being isolated.

To help combat isolation in the Nidderdale area, Nidd Plus have launched ‘Day trips out 2023’ and bus seats for excursions across Yorkshire have been selling out rapidly.

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The newly launched 2023 programme features fun days out to places like Whitby, Salts Mill, the Marks and Spencer “Marks in Time” Archive in Leeds, and Piece Hall in Halifax.

Nidd Plus release new events for 2023 after winning grant aimed at tackling lonelinessNidd Plus release new events for 2023 after winning grant aimed at tackling loneliness
Nidd Plus release new events for 2023 after winning grant aimed at tackling loneliness

All of the trips are organised and supported on the day by the Nidd Plus Transport Coordinator, Laura Crossley.

The Nidd Plus scheme began in June/July last year and since then popularity of the mini-bus service has skyrocketed amongst residents.

The scheme is one of a number of projects created as a result of a £5 million Government cash injection in 2020, which supported national schemes to tackle loneliness.

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Half a million pounds of which was given to the Community Transport Association.

This ‘grant pot’ was divided into 17 separate bids, one of which was successfully won by Nidd Plus in 2022.

Helen Flynn, Executive Director for Nidd Plus said: “Many feel the side-effects of the pandemic are still here, especially for the elderly and vulnerable.”

“We aim to rebuild connections and encourage people to make friends by organising day trips.

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“We are fortunate to have won this funding, as staff time is paid for, making the trips very affordable.

“We want to appeal to residents across the whole of Nidderdale, as we can sort out picking people up to bring them to the embarkation point, or we can pick them up on the way.

“We know that many people have suffered through not being able to get out and about during the pandemic and since, and the feedback we have been getting from passengers has been amazing.

“Many people have just not had the opportunity to get out of the dale, in some cases for almost 3 years!”

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Nidd Plus believe this is a chance to develop a ‘new normal’ with more opportunities for residents in rural areas.

They want to learn the lessons of the past few years of lockdowns and isolation and see if there is anything positive to gain.

Then use that knowledge to their advantage by bringing people closer together and strengthening the community hub.

The trips created for this year include places like Whitby, Halifax and Colne, whilst still keeping with those more local stops such as neighbouring Masham’s ‘Sheep Fair’.

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Other days out include trips to Saltburn-by-the-Sea complete with sea view lunch and cliff-lift ride.

There is also a spring bluebell canal trip through Skipton and a visit to the spectacular Salts Mill, Saltaire, stopping at the famous Wetherby Whalers for fish ‘n’ chips in Guiseley.