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Hampshire CRP offer a helping hand for those travelling with hidden disabilities

Hampshire Community Rail Partnership (CRP) has launched a Travel With Confidence project, offering a helping hand for those travelling with hidden disabilities.

Thanks to funding from SWR and Hampshire County Council, phase one of the Travel With Confidence project has been completed and a new booklet of resources has been produced.

It is the aim of Hampshire CRP to share the booklet with all groups and organisations who are involved with supporting people with hidden disabilities. You can view the Travel With Confidence booklet here. The Partnership also have some printed copies available for those who will benefit from a paper copy.

The second phase of the project is currently underway, with SWR providing funding for a peer mentoring programme. Winchester Go LD, a local charity which support adults with learning disabilities, are working with Hampshire CRP and other groups to help train people to travel with confidence, as well as offering learning disability groups visits to stations and journeys together.

Winchester Go LD are also producing some short videos to support the project, teaching viewers important skills such as how to board trains safely and seek help at stations. The organisation has previously taken a group from Havant on a ‘try the train’ trip, where participants benefited hugely from meeting likeminded people who share the same challenges, all whilst learning new skills for more independent and confident travel.

Winchester Go LD members in action on the Travel with Confidence project. Photo credit: Winchester Go LD.

Betty Chadwick, CEO of Winchester Go LD, said: “Winchester Go LD members are experts in learning disabilities through lived experience – the work we’ve done with Hampshire CRP has really built our independence and our confidence in train travel.

“We are thrilled to be part of this project and we are keen to share our travel experiences and tips with peers.”

Lucy Lomax, Community Rail Officer at Hampshire CRP, said of the project: “It is heart-warming to see this project grow from a Zoom call a couple of years ago to seeing individuals and groups travelling together and sharing their knowledge and confidence.”

If you are interested in working with Hampshire CRP and Winchester Go LD on helping people travel with confidence, you can get in contact via trains@winchestergold.org.uk for more details.

Hampshire CRP are also happy to take enquiries for the Travel With Confidence booklet to be rebranded for other train and bus operators. If you’re interested in finding out more, contact Lucy@hampshirecommunityrail.co.uk.