From Hollywood to Sussex – A-lister Actor lends support to Travel Buddy service aimed to reduce social isolation.

Award-winning Hollywood actor Jason Flemyng has lent his support to Community Transport Sussex’s ‘Travel Buddy’ service that is proving such a huge hit in West Sussex.

A new animation about the service, which matches volunteers who have similar interests with those who may face barriers when accessing public transport or need support to get out and about, has been given a voice-over by the X-Men, Stardust, Pennyworth (amongst a long list of credits!) is leading actor, Jason Flemyng.

The Travel Buddy service matches volunteers who have similar interests with those who may face barriers when accessing public transport or need support to get out and about. It will allow more people to enjoy community activities, access local services, attend appointments, go shopping or have a cup of tea at a local café. This is reflected in the animation where we meet several different characters in need of the service or wanting to volunteer hosted by a talking rucksack called Wilkins!

Much-loved actor Jason Flemyng said:

‘We all get our head down and struggle on with our lives, not noticing how the ‘sweet old man next door but one’ is doing month to month. This charity looks out for him and hundreds of others on our behalf. Hope you enjoy the animation!’.

Marie Claire Macintosh of Community Transport Sussex said,

‘Thank you, Jason Flemyng for giving your time free of charge to do the voiceover and recording for our Travel Buddy animation! Reducing social isolation and loneliness is at the heart of our Travel Buddy service, as is for all our community transport work.   Not only does this service give the opportunity for more people to maintain a level of independence and more of a social life, but also gives loved ones and carers that chance for some much-needed respite. We love the animation as it’s explaining the service in such a creative and engaging way’.

Geoff Cockwill of Silvertip Films in Horsham, who produced the film, said,

‘Working on the CT Sussex Travel Buddies animation has been not only a pleasure but a real team effort! Creating these characters and bringing the concept of the Travel Buddy scheme to life with them has been great to work on’.

Community Transport Sussex already successfully operates a Travel Buddy service in Crawley, Mid Sussex, Horsham and shortly in Chichester. The service is now to be launched across West Sussex to facilitate new friendships and improve the well-being of as many people as possible.

The Travel Buddy service supports a wide range of issues, such as stroke recovery, dementia, and mental health difficulties like depression and anxiety, as well as the effects of social isolation and loneliness.  In Chichester, the service will be mainly providing trips to and from doctors’ appointments.

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