Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership is making their ‘friendly’ face coverings available free of charge to rail passengers who need them in an effort to help ‘pass on a smile’ on World Mental Health Day and beyond.
The free face coverings are being provided for those currently using the railway for essential journeys to work, school or college. They will be available from Bishop Auckland Station in sizes small (suitable for students), medium and large.
Face coverings are a requirement when travelling on public transport and using transport hubs such as bus or train stations for all passengers over 11, unless you are exempt.
Robert Whitehouse, chair of the Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership commented: “The Bishop Line railway between Darlington and Bishop Auckland is a key transport mode for our community and we want to support those who currently have to travel, to do so safely. This is the second batch of face coverings we have provided, the first one was so popular we were asked to make more.”
Felicity Machnicki, officer for the partnership and mental health first aider at Darlington borough council commented: “Face covering are essential to help control the spread of coronavirus along with other measures, but they can take away some of the social interactions which take place while you travel by train. A smile from fellow passenger could make someone’s day, and could raise their spirits to help pass on that smile to another passenger, and so on. We designed the face coverings to start that chain reaction artificially, to help bring a sense of community back to our passengers during these uncertain times”.
The masks will be available from Saturday 10 October from Bishop Auckland Station while stocks last and will be given out thanks to the support of Bishop Trains staff.