What is hoppa?
We are an independent not for profit Company which started in May 2002 as a result of an initiative by Surrey County Council and Waverley Borough Council. With effect from 16th July 2004 we received Charitable Status.
The two councils fund us and we also receive support from local businesses and other organisations.
Our staff consists of a small, dedicated group of professionals and a team of trained drivers. These in turn are supported by a voluntary board of directors.
hoppa is a non-profit organisation and registered charity set up in 2002 since when it has developed into a business turning over £800,000 a year which puts it within the small and medium enterprise category in terms of revenue but in the top 15% in size of voluntary sector service providers in the UK.
We periodically review the purpose of our establishment and are convinced that there is a real need for direct responsive transport. We have adopted a strategy to increase DRT passenger numbers by continuing to target customers over 60 and pursued marketing initiatives to raise awareness of hoppa in general and DRT services in particular.
We continue closely to monitor usage statistics and the numbers of new members joining us month-by-month enabling us to assess the current appeal and relevance of our services and also, to a lesser extent, the effectiveness of our re-vitalised marketing efforts.
We have developed our relationships with our main funders and sought opportunities to earn those contributions to overheads which enable us to maintain hoppa’s core, subsidised activities. We have pursued those opportunities made available to provide services of a socially responsible nature some of which are adjacent to the core remit, still locally based and contribute to the core activity overheads; if the benefits to constituents justify, we are prepared to expand our vision and our structure to enable us to take further such advantage.
hoppa’s three year service level agreement with Waverley Borough secured our basic grant revenue to spring 2015 and we trust it will be continued then. Surrey CC has maintained its support both through grants and contracts including two scheduled services in Farnham and Haslemere.
Whilst continually limiting our dependency on grant funding, we are forming alliances with other CT operators and have incorporated a trading subsidiary to ensure that full fiscal advantage is taken of our charitable status.
Funding of our long term vehicle replacement programme remains a major concern; we have disposed of some of our older vehicles and with funds from our reserves and capital grants, have purchased replacements; we have reduced the fleet age profile and are pursuing grant applications to private sector bodies whilst the search continues to identify a long term, sustainable capital funding solution.
In addition to transport operations, we have recognised an expertise in related consultancy and are now establishing a MiDAS training facility which is being offered throughout the Surrey area. There is also a fleet management expertise which can be deployed in consultancy to such as schools and community facilities where the lack of operators’ knowledge of licence requirements in safety and driver training regimes could cause a loss of business but also of the insurance cover and therefore there is significant scope for providing advice which would generate income for hoppa whilst also benefitting the community and assisting the County Council in its programme of increasing efficiency of operations and safety of passengers and other road users.
In achievement of other targets, we have welcomed three new trustees and relocated the vehicle park to a space adjacent to the offices.
hoppa is committed to providing a friendly and supportive community transport service for those in Waverley rural areas in need of public transport by reason of remoteness or access difficulties at a fare level which falls well short of the cost of provision even with available grants; accordingly it augments its revenues with socially related contracted services to generate the margins enabling a significant overhead contribution to the core services.
We are determined to perform to the highest levels of responsible trading and safe operations and design our corporate policies and management effort to ensure we achieve these goals.
Feedback from hoppa passengers on the opening of the Hindhead Tunnel in 2011 was highly complementary:
“Of all the transport services, hoppa are the most professional and reliable.” – Sally Hitchen, Sampson Centre, Guildford
“We are very impressed with the friendly, professional, helpful and efficient service. Thank you very much.” – High Hurlands Homes, Liphook
“Wonderfully organised – hoppa lads wonderful, very enjoyable.” – Gloria Bond, Passenger
“The hoppa bus provides an invaluable service, relied upon by many local residents who would otherwise struggle to get around in some of the more rural areas of South West Surrey. It really is absolutely fantastic.” – Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP for South West Surrey and Secretary of State then for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, and now for the Health Service.
The Community Transport Association operates MiDAS throughout the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, under licence from Hampshire County Council which initially developed MiDAS and operates the scheme in Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton. MiDAS is designed to make appropriate training, assessment and accreditation available for voluntary sector organisations, local authorities, care providers and educational establishments.
For more information on MiDAS and to find out how to book your MiDAS training click here.
hoppa is a Registered Charity No. 1104954
Registered Office: Unit 8, Towergate Business Centre, Coopers Place, Combe Lane, Wormley, Surrey GU8 5SZ