Community rail initiative sees partners work together to help vulnerable families in Essex

Published on: Tuesday, 30 April 2024
Last updated: Tuesday, 30 April 2024

The Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership and train operator, Greater Anglia have teamed up with Home-Start Essex to provide a free day out for families in Essex.

The special train, which ran on 9 April 2024, travelled from Braintree to Cressing with 33 adults and children on board.

On arrival in Cressing the group visited Cressing Temple where United in Kind – a social movement aimed at tackling loneliness in Essex supported by the Essex Wellbeing Service – provided craft activities and refreshments for the families.

Goody bags and treats were provided by the Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership.

Jayne Sumner, Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership’s Rail Engagement Manager, said,

“We were really happy to work with Home-Start Essex to facilitate a day out for families in Essex to help improve social inclusion in our community and promote the ease and value of rail travel for a fun family day out.”

Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, said,

“We were pleased to support this event which has delivered benefits to disadvantaged families on our network.

“We’re very grateful to the Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership for the great work they are doing to promote social inclusion and sustainable travel – it’s one of the ways in which the railway in East Anglia can deliver social value back to the communities we serve.”

The Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership (ESSCRP) aims to encourage and promote the use of six rail branch lines in Essex, by supporting local projects developed in partnership with community groups, businesses and Greater Anglia and encouraging sustainable active travel for all.

Home-Start Essex aims to give children the best possible start in life by supporting parents and care givers to feel less isolated, build their confidence in themselves and their parents and find ways to manage the challenges they face.