Train franchise Northern has become the first rail company to introduce ‘dementia friendly’ services in a new partnership with a local community group.
It has launched a new initiative designed to create a dementia friendly railway which includes four main areas of development.
The ‘Dementia and Community Rail’ project covers will raise staff awareness of dementia, working to create dementia-friendly stations and services, establishing a range of supporting activities, including dementia-friendly walks and supporting journeys for those living with dementia and their carers
Northern has also named one of its trains in honour of the Bentham Line and the work carried out by the Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership (LMCRP) to create a dementia-friendly railway.
The train, a Class 150 unit was named The Bentham Line A Dementia-Friendly Railway and was unveiled at a special event at Leeds station.
As well as being given a new name, the train has been decorated with a partial design featuring the Bentham Line Logo and forget-me-not flowers – the recognised sign for dementia awareness. Inside the train, the forget-me-not design is displayed in the priority seating area and on the toilet door.
The train celebrates the partnership between Northern and the Leeds-Morecambe Community Partnership, and the ongoing work to make the Bentham Line (the route between Leeds and Heysham Port) the first ‘dementia-friendly’ community rail line in the UK.
Gerald Townson, chairman of the Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership, said: “We need to give people living with dementia and other similar illnesses 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.”
“The project was been warmly welcomed by Northern and the newly named and liveried train will work to raise awareness of dementia across Northern’s network in the months ahead.
“It will also support initiatives to develop an inclusive railway and, hopefully, encourage other community rail partnerships and train operators to develop their own ideas.”
Image credit: Aura Graphics, which designed the train’s wrapping.