Home People Bentham bids to become country's first dementia-friendly community line

Bentham bids to become country’s first dementia-friendly community line

An innovative project has been launched on the Leeds-Morecambe line – also known as the Bentham line – to make it the country’s first dementia-friendly community railway.

Jools Townsend, CEO of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP), said the project demonstrates exactly what community rail is all about – “reaching out to local people, drawing on their perspectives, and helping to ensure their needs are understood and met at stations and through train travel.”

With funding from ACoRP, Northern and CrossCountry, the scheme was launched by the Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership on May 25. 

To make the line’s stations more welcoming for those with dementia, the project has four main focuses:

  • To raise staff, volunteer and passenger awareness of dementia;
  • To support journeys for those living with dementia and their carers;
  • To create dementia-friendly stations and services
  • To establish a range of supporting activities, including dementia-friendly walks, from stations on the line.

Like this story? Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with rail industry news


Volunteers and staff on the Bentham line have already undergone dementia awareness training and have been issued badges to let passengers with dementia know they are happy to assist them.

The community rail partnership has also carried out an audit of the line’s stations and has advised line operator Northern on how it could improve its facilities for those with hidden disabilities.

Jools Townsend added: “We, and our members across Britain, feel passionately that our railways should be accessible and welcoming to all, and that everyone should be able to benefit from our railways – and this project is taking important steps to ensure that’s the case among people living with dementia.

“Railways are often the lifeblood of communities, providing access to all sorts of opportunities, and connections with other people and places, and that should not stop if you are affected by dementia personally or within your family.

“It’s an exemplary project, and the first of its kind, and we will be working to encourage other community rail partnerships and groups across the country to consider adapting it for their areas.”


Dementia is not a specific disease but a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or thinking skills that are severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s is, for example, a type of dementia. 


Read more: TfL eyes international business opportunities with new appointment


 

Recommended

RailStaff September: Guest editor takeover

When I was first asked to be one of the guest editors for this special issue focused on gender diversity, I jumped...

Gian Paolo Gotelli to head up TX Logistik

Rail logistics group TX Logistik has appointed Gian Paolo Gotelli as its new CEO. TX Logistik, which was founded in...

First train for Shanghai Metro line 14 completed

The first driverless metro train for Shanghai Metro’s Line 14 has rolled off the assembly line in CRRC Nanjing Puzhen.

RailStaff July 2019: Bowled over in Brussels

https://issuu.com/railmedia/docs/railstaff_issue_259_-_july_2019_-_i

The role of apprenticeships in filling the skills gap

Rail Forum Midlands talks about the skills gap and what its doing to bridge it