Music train event for people with dementia

Thursday, 18 November 2021

A train from Witham to Braintree will become the first in East Anglia to host a ‘dementia-friendly’ music event.

People with dementia and their carers will be able to join the 1.30 Witham to Braintree service on 7 December free of charge and enjoy music from a live saxophonist during the journey, before visiting Braintree Town Hall for refreshments and Christmas Cake.

40 tickets are available at www.esscrp.org.uk.

The event has been organised by the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership (CRP), and Braintree District Council, supported by the train operator Greater Anglia.

Last year, Braintree rail station became the first ‘Dementia Friendly’ station in Essex thanks to a partnership between Greater Anglia, the Essex and South Suffolk CRP, Braintree District Council and the Alzheimer’s Society.

June Povey, Community Rail Officer for the Essex and South Suffolk CRP, who is training to become a Dementia Champion, said, “It’s so important that the railway is accessible and inclusive and we are pleased to be able to offer a supported event to help those living with dementia and their carers enjoy an independent, fun day out. We hope that this will also help to build confidence about travelling by train in the future.”

Rebecca Richardson, Greater Anglia’s Accessibility Manager, said: “It’s important to us that the railway in East Anglia is accessible to everyone, including those living with dementia and other hidden disabilities. So we are pleased to have worked with the Essex and South Suffolk CRP to facilitate this event designed to help make rail travel accessible to more people.”

Nearly 20,000 people in Essex are estimated to be living with dementia, and this is set to increase to over 25,000 in the next 10 years.