In a collaboration with a number of partners, including the Alzheimer’s Society, Alzheimer’s Research UK, the train operating company, Arriva Rail North Ltd, the CRP aim to make the Bentham Line a centre of excellence in terms of understanding how community rail can assist in helping those with dementia to still lead an active life and continue to be part of society.
We aim to do this through training our customer facing staff and volunteers including dementia friends training and dementia champions alongside producing a series of materials (including walk leaflets and other activities) with the aim of encouraging safe, tourism and group travel. Our eventual aim is to offer similar packages to other disadvantaged groups in communities around the UK.
We feel that The Bentham Line is well placed to host such as initiative as the line’s history as the means of getting to a seaside holiday in Morecambe in times gone by can provide the nostalgia of long term memories (e.g. childhood holidays) that enables those affected by dementia to feel good about themselves.
During the project, the CRP will also liaise with the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the Forest of Bowland AONB, local councils, businesses and interested individuals – all invaluable in supporting our award winning ‘Rail to Trail’ project for walkers and cyclists and our recent ‘Bowland Rail Gateways’ project at Wennington, Bentham, Clapham and Giggleswick. We will build on all we have learned from these collaborations to further develop the project.