The New River Line Community Rail Partnership offered a warm welcome to passengers at Hertford East Station to brighten people’s journeys during Mental Health Awareness Week.
The partnership teamed up with local charities Mudlarks and H’arts in Mind, who support people with mental health issues and learning disabilities, as part of Network Rail and the wider rail industry’s ‘Brighter Journeys’ campaign.
Staff and volunteers decorated the station concourse with a wildlife display and gave away brownies to create a welcoming atmosphere for people as they passed through.
The Brighter Journeys campaign aims to make rail stations brighter and happier for passengers returning to the railway since the lifting of COVID restrictions. The idea is to bring the great outdoors inside, with bursts of colourful flowers and sensory installations greeting passengers and lifting their spirits as they embark on their journeys.
Alongside using the power of nature to make people feel happier and more connected to their local railway station, the campaign also raises awareness of the Hub of Hope app, which signposts people to support services if they are struggling with their mental health.
Katie Goldthorpe, New River Line Community Rail officer, said: “We worked with Mudlarks last year to create lovely planters at the entrance the station and it was great to get together again to put a smile on passengers’ faces and highlight the mental health help that is available locally.
“Mental Health Awareness Week is a timely reminder of the need to take care of ourselves and each other. That’s why we’re supporting Brighter Journeys and encouraging passengers who may be struggling to share and download the Hub of Hope app.”
Jake Mills, founder of Chasing the Stigma and Hub of Hope app, added: “It is great to be working with Network Rail on the Brighter Journeys campaign. Nature is really important for mental health, so we hope commuters enjoy seeing these floral installations and they put a smile on people’s faces.
“We also hope that this acts as a reminder that no one is ever alone, and mental health support is available at any time, you don’t have to be in crisis to get help. If anyone is struggling or knows someone who needs help, please download the Hub of Hope app.”
The Hub of Hope is a free app that connects people to more than 4,000+ mental health support services and groups across the UK. It is available on iPhone, Android, and online, and directs people to the nearest relevant local support using either the postcode typed in by the user or the location of the web browser or mobile device.
For more information on the New River Line Community Rail Partnership, visit their website here.