A new programme using accessible mini buses to help get care home residents out and about has taken off and has ambitious plans for expansion.
Oomph! is aiming to grow its fleet of 80 buses to service homes by the end of the year and by 2020 it is targeting a fleet of 300 buses running 500,000 journeys at homes across the country.
The national programme is designed to enhance the health and well-being of care home residents by using accessible buses to get them out and about.
Oomph! CEO and founder, Ben Allen, told AMP’s sister title, Care Home Professional: “Care home owners have told me of their dismay for residents who’ve not been outside for months. We just can’t accept that so many vulnerable people are stuck indoors due to funding cuts and financial pressures.
“The Out & About model takes the expense and hassle of excursion planning and transport purchase, leasing and away from care providers.
“We are effectively helping individual homes and groups in an area to club together to make day trips affordable for all whilst each still gets exclusive use of the service for their service users. Connecting with meaningful places, passions and communities must not become a luxury for a minority.”
Around 60 homes, including those of Hallmark Homes and WCS Care, are on board for the spring roll-out of the programme in the West Midlands, the north west, South Wales and the north east following a successful pilot at six homes in Surrey.
A huge variety of trips will be offered on a bespoke package to suit the interests and needs of each home.
The social enterprise is hiring 15 people over the first few weeks of the programme and has ambitious plans to ramp up staffing levels to around 180 by spring next year.