SWR celebrates Travel with Confidence success

Friday 05th May 2023

Group standing outside Shawford station cafe waving certificates

  • Winchester Go LD members celebrate the success of the Travel with Confidence project
  • South Western Railway & Hampshire Community Rail Partnership present certificates of achievement to members
  • Travel with Confidence project supported by South Western Railway and Hampshire County Council

South Western Railway (SWR) and Hampshire Community Rail Partnership (CRP) recently joined members of local charity Winchester Go LD at the Platform 1 café at Shawford station, for an evening celebrating the success of the Travel with Confidence project.

During the four months of the project, which started in December 2022 and was run in conjunction with Hampshire CRP and supported by SWR, members of Winchester Go LD shared their skills and experiences to mentor other groups of adults with learning disabilities across the county on how to travel comfortably by train.

As well as helping the members develop their own skills, the project has had the additional benefit of demonstrating to them that they are the experts in understanding some of the challenges faced by people with learning disabilities.

In addition to station visits and 'Try the Train' journeys, Winchester Go LD has also put together a series of videos which break down each step of a journey into easy sections, such as 'arriving at the station' and 'buying a ticket'.

Phil Dominey, SWR’s Senior Regional Development Manager and Mark Miller, Director of the Hampshire CRP, presented members of Winchester Go LD with certificates to mark their achievement in training more than 100 adults with learning disabilities to travel confidently by rail.

Betty Chadwick, Winchester Go LD’s CEO said:

“I am immensely proud of our team of staff, members and volunteers who've worked so hard in delivering such a brilliantly successful project.

“It's wonderful to see our Winchester Go LD members thrive through developing more independent life skills and we hope that they can inspire other adults with learning disabilities to enjoy using the train too.”

Mark Miller, Director Hampshire CRP added

“We’re delighted to help celebrate the achievements of Winchester Go LD members. The group recently trained their 100th client, which is a fantastic achievement and their dedication has contributed so much to the success of this phase of ‘Travel with Confidence’.

"We hope that their work and ‘Help is at Hand’ – our booklet of resources – will make it easier for people with non-visible disabilities to enjoy travelling by rail”.

Phil Dominey, SWR’s Senior Regional Development Manager said:

“It is very important to SWR that rail travel should be as easy as possible for everyone, and it was an honour to be able to present certificates to Winchester Go LD members and mark their success in helping people with learning disabilities to gain confidence in travelling by train.

“We hope that everyone they have trained will go on to use their new found confidence and start to use the railways to explore their surroundings.”