South Ayrshire Community Transport Hub: A Collective Leadership Case Study
South Ayrshire Community Transport Hub (SACTH) are a community transport organisation who serve both urban and rural areas within Ayrshire. SACTH hires out vehicles with or without drivers to community groups and organisations. In addition to this, they also run excursions and shopping trips for the elderly and disabled. Their scheduled bus service runs 4 days a week between Barr and Girvan.
In terms of leadership, SACTH uses elements of a collective leadership approach. Collective Leadership typically describes the distribution of power within an organisational structure.
Collective leadership usually involves:
- Participation from all members of a team without a clear leadership structure.
- Consistent journaling and reflection.
- Focus on the behavioural and relational aspects of an organisation.
- Encouraging creativity and innovation.
Catriona Haston has been with SACTH for 5.5 years now, first as Transport Coordinator and then as Transport Manager for the last three years. One of the first projects she oversaw after coming on board was to set up The Rural Connect Project. This project was created to tackle the lack of community transport in the rural regions.
Those involved in the hub were aware that many people living in rural areas within Ayrshire were not getting out the house at all despite a number of social clubs operating to combat loneliness and isolation. For whatever reason, many people were not physically, mentally and/or emotionally capable of getting out and about. Catriona devised a way of getting people to lunch clubs once a week by setting up a transport service. SACTH also ensured that their transport links were well equipped for disabled persons and wheelchair users.
SACTH also undertake some contract work for the local council by helping additional support needs pupils to use public transport safely and confidently by the time they leave high school. They started off with a people carrier and an escort, then they dropped the escort and arranged for specific pick-up points. Then they moved from the smaller people carrier to a bigger minibus so that the pupils were used to getting on and off. After working effectively for a few years, SACTH expanded on the project and are now supporting more than one academy.
Another project SACTH undertook was to start up a small Electric Car Club with funding from Scottish Power’s Green Economy fund. This was to serve two areas of multiple social deprivation and has been running smoothly for some time.