National charity CTA launches tender for consultant in Wales

29 January 2019 4 min. read
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The Community Transport Association (CTA) has launched a tender process with the aim of finding a consultant capable of helping the charity’s Welsh division understand how it can effectively and accurately measure its impact to society. 

In all parts of the UK, on every day of the year, thousands of community transport staff and volunteers help people to stay independent, participate in their communities and access vital public services and employment. Using everything from minibuses to mopeds, typical services include voluntary car schemes, community bus services, school transport, hospital transport, dial a ride, wheels to work and group hire services. Most are demand responsive, taking people from door to door, but a growing number are scheduled services along fixed routes where conventional bus services aren’t available.

Representing and supporting providers of community transport charities and community groups across the UK is the Community Transport Association. The charity association's mission is to enable accessible and inclusive transport in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

In Wales, approximately 2,000 volunteers provide community services, serving an estimated 140,000 individuals registered to use community transport services. CTA operates across the whole of the country, supporting its 94 member organisations to address the challenges of rurality, social isolation, sparsity and an ageing population, local health, funding, accessibility, and equality of opportunity. “We help our members to remain relevant and responsive to key areas of public policy and to make a big difference for the people and families in the communities they work in,” explained Christine Boston, CTA’s Director for Wales.

National charity CTA launches tender for consultant in Wales

Value to society?

Now, in a bid to understand CTA’s contribution to society, the charity organisation has launched a programme to understand which avenues there are for it to measure its impact. Commenting on the importance of the exercise, Boston said “Being able to show the unique difference you make and how this compares to alternatives is a fundamental building block for future success and sustainability for any charity or community group, including community transport operators. It can capture the attention of policy-makers, commissioners and funders and helps organisations internally to know they are doing the right things and doing them well.”

“Although support and resources to help organisations capture and communicate their impact are already in plentiful supply, our sense is that nothing has yet broken through as the go-to resource for community transport operators and their local commissioners. The aim of this project is to create a better understanding of all the possible ways of capturing impact.” 

To support the project, CTA is seeking an external consultant with expertise in the matter. The consultant will be tasked with drafting a report that outlines an overview of frameworks for measuring social impact, with a focus on evidencing the impact of activities that reduce social isolation and loneliness and enable people to be active and live independently. The analysis will also have to look at how the work of community transport relates to the Well-being of Future Generations Act.

With the project’s outcome, CTA expects to determine how it can best frame and assess its social impact going forward. “A common framework for this would also mean we can still create that national perspective to demonstrate and celebrate the achievements of our sector and how they contribute to important policy agendas,” remarked Boston.

Consultants are invited by CTA to submit their proposal by Friday the 8th of February to Kira Cox, Business Development Executive at CTA. Consultants selected will be invited for an interview. The total budget for this phase of the project, which is planned to kick-off on the 25th of February, is £10,000 inclusive of VAT and expenses. For more information, see the tender invitation on the website of CTA.