Shopping Service

Shopping service.
The Buchan Dial-a-Community Bus shopping service was the original project that everything else has been built upon. It originated as a one day per week service from Maud using a borrowed social work minibus driven by off duty police officers. In early 2000 we received the original RCTI grant and purchased two 16 seat VW LT46 minibuses, we then began a 5 day per week door to door shopping service and a community use facility.

The shopping bus runs mainly in the Central Buchan area and encompasses 10 small villages as well as isolated farms and cottages.

The clients of this service are mainly elderly and / or disabled and the door to door transport that we provide is often the only way that they can get to the services in local towns.
A potential customer can contact us either themselves or through another agency e.g.; carer/medical or social worker etc. At that point either the co-ordinator or, on occasion, the Dial-A-Bus driver will go to meet with them, explain about the services (clients may need more than one of our services) and complete an assessment form.

Every customer has to complete this form since it contains any relevant medical information, the client’s doctors name and details of an emergency contact in case of any mishaps. Over the past years we have only had to use these forms occasionally when clients have fallen/ collapsed and once when a customer forgot where we had parked the bus during a trip to Aberdeen!

All information that a client gives us is treated in strict confidence, if they do not want to make their medical details public we ask them to seal the relevant information into an envelope which we then attach to the form. This is then only opened in the event of that person requiring medical help.
Dial-a-Community Bus is registered under the Data Protection Act.
Thanks to the kindness of the Aberdeenshire Council’s Public Transport Unit, the shopping service is able to access concessionary fares which means that 90 to 95% of our clients are not charged for the service.
We provide a volunteer passenger assistant on all trips and clients can have access to their own passenger assistant or bring along a family member/carer should they require a little extra help. We can also supply a wheelchair, and a variety of walking aids should they be needed.
This service is timetabled three months in advance and each client is sent their own copy every quarter along with a Dial-a-News newsletter which keeps them up to date with any interesting events happening within the project.

The timetable is compiled by the Dial-A-Bus driver Bill Michie who normally does this with the help of the customers on the bus. By doing it this way the customers make the decisions on the destinations and timing of the runs. We also send out questionnaires periodically to monitor the service and always ask for suggestions for destinations/ timings etc. to ensure that the service we provide is what the customers want and need and not what WE think they should have.
Not only is this a shopping provision, our clients also use this service to visit elderly friends/relatives in areas that they cannot normally travel to, both at the bus’ destination and on route.

This service is definitely customer led, our clients are not shy, we are certain to hear about what they like and dislike and judging by the amounts of chocolates / biscuits etc that arrive at the office or are given to the driver, they seem to be happy!

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Buchan Dial-a-Community Bus is a company limited by guarantee and is recognised as a Scottish Charity.
Company number: 216225
Scottish Charity number: SC031183
DAB Plus c.i.c. is a commmunity interest company. Company number: SC316107