During the early stages of consultation around this event, a few leaders identified that a potential barrier to their group’s attendance was the issue of transport to and from the event.
The event planning team has explored multiple options, including providing full coach travel, but these were deemed unsuitable due to the extra expense, which would have had a significant impact on the final participant cost, as well as being a significant logistical challenge. Our primary aim has always been to keep the participant price as low as possible, as this was identified as the largest barrier to young people attending.
Therefore, we have produced this Transport Toolkit which we hope will assist groups in getting to and from Suffolk Punch.
So what are the options?
Here are a few of the possibilities you may wish to consider if you are worried about getting your group to the event.
Lots of Scout Groups have access to their own minibuses. If you do, it’s a smart way to get your group to the event.
We will be providing dedicated parking areas for minibuses at Suffolk Punch.
If your group doesn’t have its own minibus, don’t worry! There are other ways to get hold of one.
You could consider hiring one from a vehicle hire company, although this can sometimes be fairly expensive.
Another way is to contact local voluntary groups or non-profit organisations who may not be using their minibuses during the school Summer holidays.
Examples of organisations which may be able to loan minibuses for a low fee would be other youth groups (Scout Groups who aren’t attending the event, Guide Groups, Local Youth Clubs etc) or other organisations like Schools and Colleges. Many schools hire out their minibuses during the Summer for a low fee.
Don’t be afraid of getting in touch with the organisations in your local area. The worst they can say is no! And if they can’t hire their minibus out, they might be able to suggest somewhere which will.
Environmental rating: Pretty Good!
Coaches are an easy and efficient way to get a large group of people to an event.
Most coaches can accommodate between 30 and 70 people, and they usually have large storage compartments capable of carrying baggage and equipment.
Coaches are pretty cost-effective when used in collaboration with other groups.
A coach usually costs around £500-£600 for a day, which works out at somewhere around £10 per head, depending on the size of the coach. You might not need to hire for the whole day, so this fee might be lower.
There are several coach companies in Suffolk, and they are all used to providing transport for youth groups. Many coach companies service School contracts, so you may find that their prices are lower during the Summer holidays.
Have a chat with other leaders from your district and see if they are attending Suffolk Punch. If they are, see if they would be interested in collaborating on coach travel.
There is access to the site for coaches, and we will have a dedicated coach stop where travellers can safely board and disembark coaches.
Environmental rating: Very Good!
Car sharing is another opportunity open to you.
Calling your parents to action to provide lifts can be a great way to get new people involved in Scouting.
Suffolk is a fairly small county, and we estimate that all groups should be able to get to Hallowtree within 1 hour by road.
You could put out a message to parents, asking for their support. Some of them will have access to people carriers and other large cars which are ideal for transporting small groups of young people.
You will need to make sure that all parents are happy with this arrangement. You might wish to consider asking parents to sign-up as occasional helpers, to that they can get a DBS and complete basic adult training prior to the trip.
You never know, you might end up with an offer of more permanent help from parents once they have seen what a large scale camp is all about!
Environmental rating: Not bad!
If you’re based near to a railway station, a train might be the most sensible way to get your group down to Ipswich for Suffolk Punch.
A train ticket from a station within Suffolk, travelling to Ipswich will normally cost below £7 for under-15s.
Trains have plenty of space for bags, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting kit to the site.
It’s also a fun group activity to travel together!
We will be operating a free minibus shuttle service to and from Ipswich Railway Station during the arrival day and departure day for the event. If you’re planning to travel by train, let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that we can plan pickup times for the shuttle service.
Environmental rating: Awesome!
Districts may be able to offer your group support in a couple of ways.
You may be able to ask your district for financial support to assist with paying for transport to Suffolk Punch.
Districts are there to support local scouting, and travel to and from events might be something which your District Executive Committee feel is appropriate for a grant to cover some, or all of the cost.
Districts may also be able to support their Groups attending by providing transport for camping equipment.
For example, the district could hire or borrow a large van, pick up camping equipment from the Groups who will be attending Suffolk Punch, and transport it to the event in advance of the arrival day. That way, groups will be able to get going straight away when they arrive!
All it takes is asking your District. You might like to go through your section ADC.
Environmental rating: Very Good!
If you have any questions about transport options, or if you would like to suggest other ways to get to and from Suffolk Punch which we could include on this page, email email@example.com.