Award-winning social enterprise awarded grant to provide community transport scheme

From April 2015, Aspire will take over the delivery of the community transport service, providing much needed support to elderly and infirm residents across the city. The service will be available during the day between Monday and Friday, providing collection and drop-off services across Oxford. The service will be available for users to be taken for shopping visits or to club and group meetings.

Aspire Oxford is an award-winning charity and social enterprise that runs its own social businesses to provide work placements, training and employment opportunities for people who have experienced challenges to securing long term employment.

Aspire has been awarded the opportunity to operate the Dial-a-Ride community transport service for two years. Oxfordshire County Council will support Aspire to get the service up and running and ensure a smooth and seamless transition for customers, with a view to Aspire making it a sustainable long-term service in the future.

Councillor David Nimmo Smith, Cabinet member for transport said: “I am delighted that Aspire Oxford has been awarded the opportunity to deliver the Dial-a-Ride scheme, having an important and useful service being provided by an organisation helping those who would otherwise struggle to find work is exactly the kind of endeavour the council should be supporting.”

Paul Roberts, Chief Operating Officer (Employment & Partnerships) at Aspire Oxford said: “Aspire is delighted to be delivering a community transport service for the Oxford community, on behalf of the county council. Our newest social enterprise demonstrates we’re keen to play our part in maintaining an incredibly important service for local residents, as well as having the opportunity to create more employment for local people who need it most.”