Wyvern Community Transport started life as an essential part of a very important local charity serving the community. RRAVS – The Rayleigh, Rochford and District Association for Voluntary Service.
RRAVS is affiliated to The National Association for Voluntary and Community Action - NAVCA. It is also a member of Volunteering England and it works in partnership with The Essex Association of CVS and The Essex Association of Volunteer Centres.
RRAVS was started in March 1988, so it celebrated its twentieth anniversary in March 2008.
Wyvern Community Transport was established as a separate entity from RRAVS in 2003. So, although Wyvern CT became a separate charity from that time, it can trace its history back to the foundation both of RRAVS in 1988 and the start of the provision of transport by RRAVS for community transport services.
We started providing transport for our voluntary services for our members by using social cars and by hiring taxis, minibuses, buses and coaches whenever the need arose.
Our history is also derived from another community transport scheme based in Rayleigh called Mayday. The Mayday scheme operated a transport service either by social cars and later by minibuses. Mayday received their first minibus, a Ford Transit, from The Raleigh Round Table in about 2000 /1. The second Mayday minibus, a Y Reg. Mercedes Benz Sprinter was part funded by a grant of funds from The National Lottery in about 2003.
Mayday merged with Wyvern in 2008 when some of the assets and fleet came to Wyvern and some were given to other charities.
The first Wyvern minibus was donated by Essex County Council. That bus has now been sold and was replaced. The second Wyvern minibus was bought from The Chelmsford Community Transport.
The Gannet Foundation gave Wyvern £25,000 in funds to help buy a new minibus.
Another significant grant of about £4,000 was made by The National Show of Royal Pigeon Racing Association based in Blackpool. This grant was used to help with the purchase of a minibus. Help The Aged was the charity which arranged the contacts and dealt with the Pigeon Fanciers to gain the grant and therefore we are grateful the both organisations. They both kindly attended the handing over ceremony when the new minibus was delivered to us and photos were taken and an article was published in The Evening Echo.
In recognition of the gift, we display the crest of both The Pigeon Fanciers and Help The Aged on one of our minibuses. In addition, we display the shield or logo of Essex County Council, Rochford District and The Evening Echo.
Many years ago, Rochford District Council made provision for a “Dial a Ride” type of community transport service to fulfil their obligation to deliver an extension of the public transport service for those members of the public who had special needs. Originally, that service was provided by the South East Essex Dial-a-Ride operation which is owned and operated by Southend on Sea Borough Council. They continue to operate in Southend on Sea Borough and until early 2010 also in Castle Point Borough.
Rochford is an extensive rural area with few bus services and Rochford provides Taxi Vouchers to qualifying residents to help pay for taxi journys when Public Transport or Dial-a-Ride is not available.
When Wyvern started as a separate charity from its founder RRAVS, Rochford District Council appointed Wyvern to replace the Southend on Sea based "Dial-a-Ride" service.
The main funding for Wyvern Community Transport is provided by Essex County Council. We get considerable support from them and from Rochford District Council. Rochford provide “Taxi Vouchers” to many parishioners, who are able to spend them on transport by taxi and for our services. A few Parish Councils make donations to us each year. We are very grateful for the funding, help, support and donations from all of those local government bodies.
We are also grateful for all of the many donations received from all sources whether local government, commercial, industrial, societies and private.
Eventually, our fleet had to expand. The frequency of journeys and number of members carried made it economic, more flexible and important to improve our services by acquiring our own minibuses and using our own drivers.
From time to time we have used the minibus belonging to the Peaceful Place charity which uses offices adjacent to ours in St Luke’s Place. Also, they have used our minibuses. In early 2010, we bought a brand new ex demonstrator minibus.
After many years at Saint Luke's in Rochford, Wyvern Community Transport outrgrew its premises there and new premises were found in Castle Point and on 20 January 2012, Wyvern moved into the White House behind the Castle Point Borough Council offices at Runnymede Hall in Thundersley.
Besides operating an important and very professional local transport operation, for many years, Wyvern also provided and taught MIDAS approved training courses for minibus driving, minibus assistants and social car operation to other transport operators.