School children from Hastings and Rother are among 7,000 youngsters in the south east to benefit from rail safety and information sessions.
The ‘Go-Learn’ scheme was rolled out by Southern Railway, run by Govia Thameslink Railway and has proved to be a great success.
The three-part programme, developed in collaboration with Sussex Community Rail Partnership (SCRP), consists of talks about travel planning and personal safety, visits to stations, and trips on trains.
Southern’s Rail Enforcement Officers make day-long and week-long visits to school safety events to discuss rail safety. An education officer from SCRP then follows up by speaking about independent travel.
Finally, school children visit their local railway station to learn how to find service information, buy tickets and ride a train.
Angie Doll, Passenger Services Director, said: “The railway is a great way to travel for youngsters and we’re modernising it with new services and better journeys for our passengers.
“We want to encourage children to use the train safely and responsibly which is why we’ve worked with Sussex Community Rail Partnership to develop our Go-Learn material.
“Since 2015, we’ve given these vital life lessons to over 17,000 youngsters and now volunteers at GTR are delivering an adapted version of the Go-Learn course to cub scouts from across Sussex and Surrey. In the past 12 months we took it to 1,500 more children than the year before. ”
Angie Lowen, Education Officer at SCRP said: “The workshops and station visits are very well received by teachers and pupils alike.
“The children are fully engaged, and the train ride is always a big hit with them. Important life skills are taught, something which is very difficult to measure but which is so beneficial for young people.”
Among local schools and groups who have been taking part are St Mary’s Star of the Sea, Hastings Sedlescombe Primary, Hurst Green Infants, King Offa Primary Academy and the Sidley Cubs pack.
In the past 12 months GTR took more than 7,100 children through the Go-Learn scheme compared to 5,484 children the year before.
Schools who would like to book a Go-Learn session can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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