The Free Bird – Harley’s Travel Training Story

*When talking to Harley Mytton there’s a sense of constant movement – with each spoken line ending in a pun, an inspired idea or a plan for the future.

Nowadays he’ll tell you he’s looking forward to meeting friends in town that weekend, applying for college after his GSCES or simply picking up essentials from the supermarket for his Mum.

But this freedom was hard earnt.

Harley was on specialist transport when his school referred him to Nottingham City Council’s Independent Travel Training service in 2012. And it was clear Harley had some concerns about the use of public transport initially.

He said: “I wasn’t keen on it and I was nervous at the start. I was a bit worried about the world at that point”.

Independent Travel Trainer Roshni (pictured) worked with Harley to address his concerns one by one through a series of trial runs and short trips covering aspects of the journey such as crossing the road, pedestrian crossings and “stranger danger” as well as specific concerns such as when to press the button and where to get off.

Mum Carrie remembers that it wasn’t always a smooth journey and Harley took several breaks from the programme when it got too much.

She said: “He was getting stressed out dealing with things like the money and there being a lot of other young people around”.

However after nearly four years of travel training his hard work and the work of his Trainers has paid off – a development which Harley describes as moving him a step further onwards in life.

He said: “It was important for me to be travelling on my own when I went to Sixth Form as I felt like it would help me feel more grown up… like a man.

“I’m a free bird – I’m not in a cage anymore. They’ve helped me open the door and fly”.

Independent Travel Training offers children and young people with special educational needs the opportunity to develop a set of essential skills to enable them to travel independently.

If you know a child or young person who would benefit from receiving the training please contact their school or college.

Alternatively for more information contact Roshni Devani on 0115 876 4188 or email itt@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

What can Independent Travel Training do for me?

The training programme provides people with a wide range of support, Including:

  • Journey planning
  • Confidence in using buses, trams and trains
  • How to use timetables and visual aids
  • Where to get help
  • Personal safety
  • Money skills
  • Coping with traffic and road safety
  • Learning the highway code