South Western Railway’s (SWR) volunteer community ambassador and Three Rivers Community Rail Partnership recently gave youngsters from Sholing the chance to develop their confidence with the railway, as part of the company’s dedicated Community Ambassador programme.
SWR has over 25 community ambassadors, staff who have all volunteered to take on this role, in addition to their day-to-day duties, and support the Try the Train events, which are traditionally aimed at children, the elderly, those with disabilities or accessibility needs. These activities help to show those who feel excluded from public transport the support that is available to make sustainable journeys.
The event was delivered in collaboration with the CRP, helping 28 children from Sholing Brownies to learn more about keeping themselves safe when travelling by train.
The youngsters were shown how to use the different facilities at Sholing station and heard about how to look after themselves when travelling. The group then boarded a service to Southampton Central, helping them to put their learning into practice.
Andrew Renton, Customer Ambassador and Ticket Office member of staff at Bracknell, said: “It’s great to be involved in these trips as they help people to understand the support we offer. This was a great event and I really enjoyed helping the youngsters learn more about how they can safely travel with us. It was real pleasure and I hope to see them making other journeys with us in the future.”
5th Sholing Brownies Brown Owl, Clair Hayward said: “This was a wonderful opportunity for the girls to experience travelling on the train and seeing behind the scenes. The staff were so accommodating and enthusiastic when telling us all about their roles within the company, it was a really lovely atmosphere.
“The Brownies really enjoyed their trip, which was part of their World Traveller Badge and we hope to be able use the trains again in the future.”
Mark Miller, Three Rivers CRP Officer said: “The Three Rivers Community Rail Partnership was delighted to facilitate this trip with South Western Railway. We have an objective of introducing groups to rail travel with the view of understanding our partnership’s work, all that entails running a railway and of encouraging more train use in the future. We were delighted with the trip and were pleased to be able to show such an enthusiastic group all that goes into providing train services in this area. We hope that many Brownies and helpers will continue to use their local trains for many years to come!”