Helping older people get out and about with ‘Try the Train’

Wednesday 11th September 2019
Not Forgotten group photo with SWR Ambassadors

South Western Railway’s (SWR) Community Ambassadors continue their jam-packed year of ‘Try the Trains’ trips with a journey for a group from the charity, Not Forgotten.

The charity offers older people an opportunity to make friends and develop new relationships through a range of social activities. An important modern-day issue as more than 2 million people over the age of 75 live alone and more than a million people go a month without speaking to someone.

SWR’s Ambassadors Ian Edwards, Tarnia Rayment, Sheree Whetren and Mark Youngman travelled with the group on one of their outings from Portsmouth and Southsea station. They explained the services and assistance available to the group, especially those with mobility, hearing and vision issues, that could make train journey a real travel option in the future.

The Ambassadors showed them the train’s layout, including seat configuration, location of toilets, as well as how station Help Points, and Passenger Assist, could give them the confidence to explore the sights and sounds of the network in the future.

The group were also delighted with special homemade cupcakes, baked by Sheree, emblazoned with the Community Ambassadors logo.

Andy Harrowell, SWR’s Community Rail Manager and leads the Ambassador programme, said:
“It was wonderful seeing people from Not Forgotten enjoy their day out on our network. The ‘Try the Train’ experience helps those who feel excluded from the railway to be included by understanding that support is available to those when travelling on our services."

Sharon Wallen, leader of Not Forgotten, said:
"The train trip was amazing and SWR’s staff were great. We had them all singing our Not Forgotten theme song. We all enjoyed it so much and we look forward to our next train trip. Tania, Sheree, Mark, Ian and even Nathan, the train guard, were all so friendly and kind.”

More journeys are planned and anyone interested in the possibility of a trip for the autumn onwards should contact Andy.