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Christmas cheer as ‘Feel Good Field Trips’ initiative reaches 2,000 children

Community Rail Lancashire has facilitated Avanti West Coast’s ‘Feel Good Field Trips’ initiative in reaching the impressive milestone of benefiting 2,000 children in 2023.

Led by David Savage, Community Rail Officer at Community Rail Lancashire, the two-year programme has successfully provided free, fun, and educational field trips along the iconic West Coast Main Line for schools with a high number of disadvantaged students. The initiative has delivered over 80 trips so far, involving nearly 200 train journeys for students aged 4-18 years of age.

The 2000th student mark was achieved on Wednesday 29 November when 60 pupils travelled by train to Lancaster to watch A Christmas Carol at the Dukes Theatre and take part in a drama workshop. The children received a rail safety session at the station, as well as an activity booklet and a copy of the Arlo’s Adventures rail safety book.

David Savage, Community Rail Lancashire Officer, said: “I am delighted to have taken the 2000th student on a Feel Good Field Trip. This project has had a positive impact on so many children – as a former geography teacher, I am aware of the cost and time it takes to plan field trips. These trips are planned for the school, and we also provide support with budgets.

“Many of these children have now experienced travelling by train for the first time, allowing them to broaden their horizons by visiting new destinations.”

Jo Buckley, Community Manager at Avanti West Coast, said: “We’re proud to have given thousands of schoolchildren the opportunity to enjoy fun educational trips across the west coast. It’s always fantastic to see their reactions when making a train journey for the first time or discovering something new, as that’s what our ‘Feel Good Field Trips’ are all about – connecting young people to opportunities they would never otherwise have had the chance to experience.

“We cannot wait to welcome more children onboard our trains in the New Year for these fun days out!”

Carl Woodward, Head of Creative Communities at the Dukes Theatre, said: “The Dukes is very excited about this new collaboration with Avanti’s Feel Good Field Trips, and hopes it is the beginning of many more trips in our region.

“School trips are the life force of our theatre and vital for our industry. We are thrilled Community Rail Lancashire can enable this experience of live theatre and provide a welcome release from the pressures faced by young people in the most disadvantaged communities.”

Keep up to date with future news, projects, and events from Community Rail Lancashire via their website.