Sentaxi
Business owner Duncan McMorrin

FRIENDLY CABS MAKING WAVES AS ISLAND’S SEN SPECIALIST TAXI FIRM

FriendlycabsLess than a year into business, East Cowes-based Friendly Cabs is making a name for itself as the Island’s only Special Educational Needs (SEN) centered taxi firm.

Based out of Clarence Road in East Cowes, Friendly Cabs is the only taxi company in the United Kingdom that is fully certified by Communications Access UK, and the only UK taxi company with drivers trained in Makaton sign language.

The Friendly Cabs motto is ‘we really do go the extra mile’. This is something that is evident when you read through all the positive reviews the company has received, including from the headteacher of St George’s School in Newport, Stef Gleeson.

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She said:

“Friendly Cabs have supported a student at St George’s to safely be transported home for 5 weeks. Friendly Cabs are exactly that, very friendly to the student and mindful of additional needs. Duncan arrives in good time, ensuring that the student is not waiting and getting anxious. Communication between the school and Friendly Cabs has been excellent, Duncan has also gone above and beyond to wait with the student until the parent arrived home.

“As the Headteacher at St George’s School, I thoroughly recommend Friendly Cabs.”

Friendly Cabs make it their priority to make the journey as comfortable as possible for passengers with SEN needs, including meeting students before they travel with them and finding a common ground to aid conversation and reduce levels of anxiety and fear. Duncan’s wife is an SEN teacher of some 30+ years and she still teaches full-time at one of the main SEN schools on the Island, meaning Duncan has learnt from the very best.

Started some 7 months ago following Duncan’s redundancy during the COVID-19 pandemic, the business has already amassed a large following on Facebook and has been praised

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Speaking to Island Echo, Duncan has said:

“I’m an ex-pilot and in that industry there was also some bias against disabled/SEN children and adults. As we succeed, I really hope that other taxi companies on the island will take note and change their culture, to appreciate and value every passenger, even if those passengers require kindness and patience.”

The firm currently has 1 vehicle – an 8-seater Peugeot Expert – and are looking to add a new vehicle to the fleet next year.

To find out more about Friendly Cabs and the service that they offer, visit their Facebook page here.

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The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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ExtraD
ExtraD
7 months ago

1 vehicle? I assumed there would be a lot more demand for SEN transport on the island.

Hamad Samir
Hamad Samir
Reply to  ExtraD
7 months ago

Charging the council a fortune for simply driving a taxi. The council are so stupid for paying out £1.7 million a year on these taxis. What a ludicrous waste of council tax. People should be responsible for getting their own children to school.

Gerrard Maggot
Gerrard Maggot
Reply to  Hamad Samir
7 months ago

Why turn out in the cold and wet when someone else all paid for by the working people of the UK will take away your responsibilities, leaving you in blissful peace for a several hours, proclaiming to be some sort of hero, just for looking after your responsibility for a few short hours a day.

This needs to end as they get well paid for the misfortune of having such, then get others to do what the state funds them to do.

Cake and eat it spring to mind.

Real sunshine
Real sunshine
7 months ago

I don’t think so because they have other things going for it and they don’t want me there

Paul the other one
Paul the other one
7 months ago

Much better than the Cowboy Taxi firms in Ryde, park where they like and
have no rev counter. (Speeding is also a problem they have)

Lover of life
Lover of life
7 months ago

You should be ashamed of yourself for writing your comments. Do you think these children asked to have special needs, no they didn’t.
You need to get a life, shame your real name and address isn’t posted on here. I guarantee you wouldn’t say anything directly to the kids or their parents, you vile excuse for a human being.

islander
islander
Reply to  Lover of life
7 months ago

Friendly Cabs have supported a student at St George’s to safely be transported home for 5 weeks

at everyone elses expense no doubt.

the parents should be paying for this.

Red Eared Mick
Red Eared Mick
Reply to  Lover of life
7 months ago

Me thinks, lover of life doth protest too much.

Likely if having a SEN child, higly likely they no longer are needing to work, as a comfortable lifestyle, free disability car (paid for via increased benefits) a parking space, house alterations all paid for by the state, for, what in truth is, albeit through no fault of their own, lumbering society with a costly person to keep forever.

Now it seems we, like the teachers of such, all have to ‘pretend’ to be happy to have such in our children’s classroom, in a restaurant, or normal children’s playground, despite many of these SEN’S being clumsy crashing about, making odd noises or dribbling and being unhygienic.

Whilst it isn’t their fault, neither is it ours. Educate at home

Red Eared Mick
Red Eared Mick
Reply to  Lover of life
7 months ago

All understand that children never asked to have special needs.

What some are rightly asking is ought huge amounts of money, in difficult times, still be spent on those, in almost all cases, will still be a massive cost for the country their entire lives?

Obviously if you have one of course you will want the gravy train of benefits and choice of sending it to a normal school at huge expense to continue.

IF however you have a normal child, then you may well resent cut backs effecting their education, especially if they have to endure some disruptive, but can NEVER be blamed SEN child being the cause.

Parents of such ought to work harder to pay for private education if they trust it will work, but they don’t for good reason

eve nigh
eve nigh
Reply to  Lover of life
7 months ago

So, lover of life, it seems by your aggressive post that you have anger issues.

Do you think that they may possibly have been passed on in flawed dna to your SEN child?

Threatening people for having a different opinion is not something you should be teaching your children.

Far better to teach them how to come back with a counter view, IF such is true.

Sadly though, the posts you complain of, was bang on the money, hence your dislike and removal of such.

Lover of life
Lover of life
7 months ago

Why was the post removed from the person slating special needs education children??

Ms, Onehand Engineer
Ms, Onehand Engineer
Reply to  Lover of life
7 months ago

Perhaps because it is the truth?

Just because you have a SEN child so clearly are protective, that doesn’t mean that what was said isn’t factual.

Many of these children’s parents do stay at home as the benefits from tax payers are higher , so by having a SEN child, not only are tax payers keeping it but the parents as well.

So hard times ought we not cut back on dead wood?

Stark Reminder
Stark Reminder
Reply to  Lover of life
7 months ago

Perhaps it hit a nerve as was too truthful, whatever happened to freedom of speech?

gorob
gorob
7 months ago

I’m sure there are a small few that need this service but as usual people jump on the freebie
pick up and take my difficult child to School for me brigade.
There were no difficult children that needed taxies in my school days.
This is just parents using a service because they can.
Get a grip.
Get out of bed and off your phone get dressed and get your undisciplined children to school and show some parental care.

Sloop John B.
Sloop John B.
Reply to  gorob
7 months ago

I know of a family that owns two cars, one adult works part time in the evening, their SEN children get taken to school in a taxi.

You just have to be on the system and you get everything handed to you on a plate.

eve nigh
eve nigh
Reply to  Sloop John B.
7 months ago

Seems this country is used by all and sundry to extract a good life for doing nothing now, apart from create more burdens to speed up our demise.

Bad enough when only the English were playing the system, but now, since smart phones, the whole world has access to ‘How to bleed the British tax payer dry’
App.

So as our country panders to all those who will never pay into the system, only ever take out, people still ask why our living standards are dropping through the floor.

The answer, IF we were allowed to say why would be crystal clear.

Hamad Samir
Hamad Samir
7 months ago

What sort of useless taxi firm operates from 8 am to 6 pm? So difficult getting a taxi in the evenings on the island. Most can’t even be bothered to answer the phone and if you somehow manage to get hold of one, the prices are ridiculous. If you want to make a wedge, give up working in the daytime and just run a taxi from 7 pm until 11.30 pm.

AlexCL
AlexCL
7 months ago

Pretty sure everyone who has negatively commented on this (99.9% of the comments) do not have SEN children as the comments wouldn’t be this negative if they understood what it was like to hear/see these comments about people just trying to help struggling families out. I think it’s such a lovely thing to be doing, knowing that whilst your child is being taken to school they are in a kind and safe environment with people who are able to at least try to communicate with your children and show some real effort as for a lot of other people that come to meet the amazing SEN children. What superhero’s for children with super powers❤️❤️

Ive searle
Ive searle
Reply to  AlexCL
7 months ago

Alex, it is not that people have an issue with the children, but what most I felt feel is the massive cost of the parents getting overly generous benefits, and all the extras which is either costing tax payers more, OR as we read today, taking money from education for those children who are likely to become fully paying members of society.

IF the parents paid from working for all the extra help their offspring needs, then I doubt one person would have an issue.

It is the fact that parents force SEN children into normal schools, which are happy to take them as they gain more funding, BUT we pay the cost, as do our children being disrupted by many SEN’s.

Easy to see you have such in the family so naturally see it differently.

 

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