We are delighted to announce that we have successfully achieved accreditation for 2022-23 from the Department For Transport (DFT)
Accreditation is formal recognition by the DfT that a community rail partnership (CRP)
operates to a high standard and that its objectives and activities are supported by
Accreditation should provide assurance to others, including potential funders and
partners, that the CRP operates to high standards of governance and financial propriety;
adopts a collaborative approach; is worthy of trust by others; and is a suitable entity for
receiving public funds. Further Government considers it a good representative of the local
We are very much looking forward to another successful year in Community Rail, working alongside our team of Station Adopters and all of our colleagues in the rail industry.
In September 2021 we held a station tidy up day in the picturesque village of Glaisdale . The weather was beautiful, the team on the day was made of our Station Adopters, Board Members, colleagues from Northern Rail and a team from Young Rail Professionals.
Planters were stained, plants planted, fencing painted and maintained, and by the end of the day the station was looking fantastic!
Following the success of the Glaisdale volunteer day we then held a similar day at Danby Station on 22nd April. The station is looked after by a group of people from nearby Botton Village and they joined us on the day along with a huge team from Network Rail, Northern Rail, Young Rail Professionals and other Station Adopters.
Once again the weather was glorious and everyone worked so hard together. Bushes were pruned, plants planted, new planters painted and the inside of the waiting room was given a fresh coat of paint. Danby village hall was used to provide coffees teas and a delicious lunch.
The journey, which travels through some of the prettiest scenery in the country, follows the route of the River Esk for much of its length, passing through verdant farmland, rolling moors and picturesque villages.
As I get on the train I’m met by a chatty group of ladies from Nunthorpe and Marton Knitters who have been travelling on the dementia train since it began. The group became involved with the Esk Valley Railway after they began yarn bombing Nunthorpe Station and were eventually asked to adopt the station alongside Nunthorpe in Bloom. “They do a grand job too,” said chair of Esk Valley Railway Company, Alan Williams.
I asked the ladies what they like about the train and found myself bombarded with answers. “It’s beautiful scenery for a start off and a safe environment,” said Anne, who was engaged in creating one of the attractive Forget-me-Not brooches given to all who ride the train.
Alan said the dementia train was the brainchild of wife Lisa, who runs Community Rail Partnership: “We started the Forget-me-Not train because we realised that more and more people are stuck in the house all day. So, we encourage them to bring a picnic and provide music. The Dementia Association told us that music helps people and I think you can actually watch it bring people alive.”
February’s train saw passengers joined by a more unusual traveller, a Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog, also thought to be beneficial for people with dementia.
The project has proved so successful that the group has received enquiries from across the country: Alan said: “We’re lucky that the line is self contained, although we do currently have to change trains in Middlesbrough as this one continues to Hexham.”
One of the things which makes the journey so special is that passengers can choose how much time to spend on the train. They may join at any station en-route, so if you feel the full return journey is too long, you can adjust your plans accordingly.
Lisa, who was also offering relaxing hand massages to those on the service, said: “I’m so thrilled, I’ve just had a card to say thank you for what we do, it’s such a positive thing.”
Train guard Jon said: “It’s a fantastic atmosphere, I wish that all my journeys were like this.”
There is a fabulous air of happiness and enthusiasm on the train, but perhaps the best way to explain what the Forget-me-Not train really means is to let those travelling tell you. Graham and Paul travelled from Scarborough to join the train and have been on every service so far. Paul, 51, was diagnosed with dementia at the age of just 47. The former RAF man is beaming as he tells me how he travelled the world. Graham, his support worker (a title he takes reluctantly, prefering to stress that Paul is his friend), said: “It’s a great idea, just so beneficial. It’s great to get out and it helps others. It’s been just like a breath of fresh air.”