Special train trips from Norwich to Lowestoft have taken place to help local young people and newly settled families discover the joys of the Broads National Park and the Suffolk Coast.
The Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership (CRP) worked with the Henderson Trust, New Routes Integration, the Broads Authority’s National Lottery Heritage Funded project Water, Mills & Marshes, and Greater Anglia to host over 40 people on two train trips from Norwich.
The trips were designed to help people find out about how to use public transport and give them confidence to explore further afield.
On 2 August, a group of twelve young people supported by the Henderson Trust travelled to Oulton Broad and Lowestoft by train where, as part of the exciting day out, they visited the SWT Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve.
On 12 August, 31 people from New Routes Integration – a charity supporting refugees, asylum seekers and migrants through promoting cross-cultural integration and community awareness – took their first trip across the Broads National Park by train, stopping off at Oulton Broad North and visiting Nicholas Everitt Park before going on to Lowestoft.
The group were welcomed at Lowestoft Parcels Office by the Wherry Lines CRP, who provided refreshments and a free bucket and spade for every child.
Martin Halliday, Community Rail Development Officer for Community Rail Norfolk, said: “The Henderson Trust and New Routes Integration are doing amazing work to improve people’s lives and we were delighted to be able to work with them to help people feel more confident about exploring and travelling in Norfolk and Suffolk.
“We are extremely grateful to Greater Anglia and the Broads Authority for supporting this event and working with us to bring rail to the heart of a community which can often feel quite isolated.”
Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, said: “We were pleased to support this vital work which is helping people to use public transport safely and with confidence, and connecting them to new opportunities.”
Nick Sanderson, Education Officer for the Broads Authority, said: “It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to bring young people and families to the Broads by train and to showcase some of the special qualities of this unique area. The rail journey is definitely a magical part of the day.”
Sadhia Islam, Youth Projects Coordinator for New Routes Integration, said: “We are so grateful to Broads National Park and Greater Anglia for providing a unique experience for our participants and the really warm welcome that was shown to us.”
Image shows families from New Routes Integration at Lowestoft Station. Credit: New Routes Integration.