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Hovertravel aims to become more Autistic-Friendly

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As part of its HoverCare programme to develop greater understanding of the needs of all its customers, Hovertravel recently welcomed a group of children and their parents from Greenmount Community School.  This school, situated just outside Ryde on the Isle of Wight, has been an important institution in the local community since it was founded in 1821.

Andy Parnell, one of Hovertravel’s HoverCare Ambassadors, explains: “When we launched HoverCare, we knew we needed to learn more about our customers’ needs. We appreciated that we should develop our knowledge of how different types of customer might view, access and experience our service.  The purposes of this visit were for Hovertravel get a better understanding of the needs of children, including those on the autistic spectrum, as well as incorporating parental feedback, and to give our all young visitors a behind the scenes tour of our hovercraft. “

The children, their parents and teachers met at Hovertravel’s Ryde terminal at 1015 – just after a timetabled craft had departed – so the group had the terminal to themselves. After a brief explanation of how the hovercraft works, the group was given a tour around one of the craft, followed by a brief 15-minute trip out on the Solent.

Andy adds: “The response from this trip was overwhelmingly positive – from children, teachers and parents. My job is to feedback the intelligence we gathered through this event and then our HoverCare team can assess what we can do to make anyone with autism have the best possible experience with Hovertravel.”

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