Set up a walking bus
Volunteers are needed to set up walking buses at schools across Kent. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen a drop in the number of walking buses across the county and now, more than ever, we need you to help get walking buses back into schools.
A walking bus is a supervised group of children walking to or from school along a set route and picking up or dropping off 'passengers' at specific points along the way. It's a fun, healthy and sustainable way of getting to school.
A walking bus can:
- promote exercise, health and wellbeing
- reduce traffic and congestion around schools
- help the environment
- improve attendance and punctuality
- save time for parents and carers
- teach children key road safety skills.
Volunteers take it in turns to lead the walking bus, so you can fit it around other commitments.
A key factor for parents is the time saved. A walking bus is a co-operative scheme where everyone shares the load, taking it in turns to walk the bus and lead the children, meaning parents and carers are spared the task of transporting their child to school most mornings in the week. The trade-off is that once a week they take a turn escorting the bus. All routes are approved by us and all adults involved in the bus are police-checked.
To set up a walking bus, there must be at least 2 adult volunteers – a 'driver' and a 'conductor', and a ratio of 1 adult to 6 children. All volunteers involved will be police-checked and all participants will be provided with a hi-viz tabard by the school.
- Request our guide to walking buses by emailing email@example.com.
- Speak to the school and parents to get support.
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a talk for parents and potential volunteers.
- Appoint a co-ordinator who'll be the key point of contact for the walking bus.
- Ask the school to run DBS checks for all adults involved in your walking bus.
- Work out your route, including start and finish points, pick up points and timetable. We will carry out a risk assessment of your route.
- Apply online.
After your route is approved, the volunteers have their DBS checks and participants have hi-viz tabards you are ready to start.
We will review your route every year to make sure it's still suitable.
If your school is in Medway, please apply for the Medway walking bus scheme.