WIN came about through a collaboration initially between Nairn and Ardersier Patients’ Group (NAPG) and In This Together, the Third Sector support organisation in Inverness-shire and Nairnshire. It is now a charity with its own independent board of trustees. Our Board members are Simon Noble (chair), Chris Lilley, Sue Hood and Lucy Harding.
The incorporation of WIN as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) in May 2018 is the culmination of more than three years’ effort by NAPG and significant numbers of local people in raising awareness of the benefits and challenges of implementing a community transport scheme.
Our project launched quietly at the beginning of November 2019 …..and stopped almost immediately, in March 2020, when lockdown was first announced. We re-launched in July 2021 and now run Nairnshire’s Dial a Bus as well as the volunteer car scheme, providing a COVID-protected service.
We employ a full-time manager (Jon Wartnaby) and two part-timers (Ronnie Morrison and Lynne Thompson) to drive the electric Dial a Bus. We remain a largely volunteer run service, with the car scheme operated by local unpaid volunteers using their own cars.
We are funded by the Robertson Trust and Highland Council’s Ward Discretionary Fund and by the Council’s Community Transport Unit.
Why have we been set up?
Between 2014 and 2016 we held a number of focus groups and also carried out a comprehensive public survey which yielded 339 respondents. You said that transport provision does not meet local needs due to the prescribed and limited nature of delivery. You also said:
- There are no affordable/accessible short notice solutions.
- Public services are less frequent or simply not available in the afternoons when people have medical appointments
- Rural locations such as Ardersier were disproportionately affected by travel to appointments.
- Nearly half of you in the county depended on means other than their own vehicles so needed lifts
- A lot of you could maybe get into town, or to Inverness, but then couldn’t get back home or had to wait for hours
- You liked buses, but they often didn’t run where or when you needed.