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Free Interactive train experience for disabled children in October half-term

Caudwell Children, the Staffordshire based charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, has announced that during the October half-term holiday it is to give disabled children, and those with additional needs, in Staffordshire and Cheshire, the opportunity to enjoy a FREE Virgin Trains Experience at the companies Rookie Academy in Crewe.

Participants will climb on board a real Virgin train where, amongst other things, they will get the chance to make announcements on the tannoy, operate a food and drinks trolley in the aisle and sit in the driver’s seat.   

The interactive experience will take place on Friday 1st November, 2019, at the Virgin Training Academy, Crewe, CW1 6ZD, and children can choose to attend either a 10.30am-12pm session or a 1.00pm-2.30pm session.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to get out of the house and have fun during the half-term break,” said Becky Deri from Caudwell Children. “Participants will get the chance to see what goes into running a real-life railway station and they will be able to get hands-on with all sorts of different activities.

“They might even get the chance to meet a real train driver in the cab!”

The activity is free to attend and to make the experience as accessible as possible Virgin Trains is also giving free travel to participants on its services to Crewe.

“One of the biggest barriers for disabled children in participating in activities outside the house is the cost,” explained Becky. “So wherever you live, in Staffordshire or Cheshire, if there is a Virgin Train service near you, that runs to Crewe, we will give you free travel.

“All you have to do is register your child on the Virgin Trains Experience and we will then issue you with a pin code. To ensure free travel you then enter the code on the Virgin Trains website when booking your rail tickets.

“Not only that each participant will receive a free Virgin Rookies backpack, cap, whistle and T-shirt! How good is that?”      

Refreshments will also be provided in the training academy and on the train.

The train is not accessible for wheelchairs as it can only be entered by steps up to the train doors.

“If your child is a permanent wheelchair user but has some mobility wheelchairs can be left securely outside the train,” said Becky. “As long as you are confident that your child can climb the steps I’d encourage you to register.”

Due to restricted space only a child with a disability will be allowed on the train with one accompanying adult. Additional adults and children are welcome to attend but will have no access to the train. 

Becky says that Caudwell Children’s activity days are important in helping disabled children escape the confines of their home. As she concluded: “Incredibly, 78% of disabled children in the UK have no access to activities outside the house. Activity days like this encourage social interaction in a secure environment.

“We encourage as many disabled children and young people as we can to engage in our activities and we strive to ensure that they have an enjoyable experience.”

To book a place call Becky Deri on 01782 433613

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