A Community Rail Partnership linking Yorkshire and Lancashire has named a train in support of its work to make communities along their route more dementia friendly.
In a ceremony at Leeds station, Peter Wilkinson, Managing Director of Passenger Services at the Department for Transport, officially unveiled the ‘The Bentham Line – A Dementia-Friendly Railway’. The newly refurbished Arriva Northern Class 150 train features the ‘forget-me-not’ symbol, and will travel on the line running between Leeds and Morecambe acting as an ‘ambassador’ for the work of the Dementia project team across the north of England.
In addition to the naming ceremony, Peter also revealed a new laser cut piece of artwork that was commissioned for the Bentham Station building. The new montage was created by artist Alastair Nicholson based on drawings, paintings and poetry developed by the members of the Making Art Group; an art-making group for people living with dementia and their caregivers.
Peter Wilkinson, said of the occasion “I am incredibly proud to be at this event. It highlights a significant project that helps make public transport accessible to many more people. Work such as this should spur others on to open up public transport to be truly inclusive to those with hidden disabilities, such as dementia. Public transport is a means of joining communities together”.
Gerald Townson, Chair of the Bentham Line CRP, added “It is vital to extend the reach of this scheme to include those living with hidden disabilities such as dementia. We need to give those people the confidence to travel for as long as they can and continue to enjoy life alongside others. The CRP has been working hard to raise awareness of dementia with frontline staff along the route to Morecambe to create a key supporting ingredient.”