Published on: Wednesday, 17 May 2023
Last updated: Wednesday, 17 May 2023
Above: Greater Anglia train. Credit: Greater Anglia
A special train from Witham to Braintree provided a day out for people with dementia and their carers to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III.
The event – which saw 35 people travel by train from Witham to Braintree on 27 April - was organised by the Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership and supported by Greater Anglia and Braintree District Council.
The group enjoyed music from a live saxophonist during the journey, before visiting Braintree Town Hall for afternoon tea and a singalong.
Braintree rail station is 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, and Dementia Champion, said, “It’s so important that the railway is accessible and inclusive and we were 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.”
James Bonehill, Greater Anglia’s Accessibility & Inclusion 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.