Acorn Village provide care and support for adults who have a learning disability and/or autistic spectrum.  They work with us to produce art projects at some of the stations we support.

We have been sent some photos this week of the mural paintings in progress

As part of Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership’s ongoing partnership with Acorn Village at Mistley a centre for people with learning disabilities including those of the severe end of the autistic spectrum.

The purpose of try a ‘train for the day’ is to give the residents the confidence and ability to travel safely by train.

Lynda and Terri CRP officers, met with the residents and staff at Acorn Village where everyone was given a training pack which we talked through with them explaining how to be safe at the station and when travelling on the train.

At Manningtree station each resident received training on how to use the ticket machine. They then had to familiarise themselves with the station and identify key items and locations from their pack eg yellow lines along the platform, clock, way out signs and the lift. An important part of the training was how to recognise members of Greater Anglia’s staff and the use of the Help Points which are located on all stations. We then all boarded the train to Harwich Town to experience a train journey. Once there we all enjoyed a lunch and talked about the day’s events before returning to the station to catch the train back to Manningtree.

Each resident was then awarded a Certificate of Achievement for completing ticket training and how to travel safely on the railway.

Comments from the day included “it was easier than I thought, not so scary", “I feel more confident in using the train and buying tickets from the machine”, I feel better knowing what to do if there are no staff available” and “it was a great day.”

ESSCRP will continue to work closely with Acorn Village in delivering a rolling programme of rail safety and try a train days. Our work with them also includes art projects the current one being designing and making a mural to be displayed in the underpass at Manningtree Station.

Further information about Acorn village can be found at

Try a Train Day - April 2017

ESSCRP are working in partnership with Acorn Village. There are three areas where we are working on together.

Mural in the underpass at Manningtree Station:
The residents with staff are producing a mural which depicts views on the Mayflower line and surrounding areas. The first board is in the underpass, and the other mural vboards are being worked on at Acorn Village with a view of them being completed by June 2017.

Deliver a rail safety talk to residents:
This was delivered in the autumn and included residents and staff. It was a great afternoon and residents were provided with goody bags and a certificate. The talk was delivered in the 2016 Rail Safety week.

Try A Train Day and Ticket Training:
This was delivered in April, and included training at Acorn Village, a visit to Manningtree station, buying a ticket from the ticket machine and travelling to Harwich and return. It was a very successful day with positive feedback from staff and residents.

ESSCRP and Acorn Village Mistley (who provide care and support for adults who have a learning disability and/or autistic spectrum.) worked together a few years ago to develop art work for Mistley station. It was a great success with art installations put in Mistley shelter.

In 2016 we met again to discuss the possibility of painting a mural for the underpass at Manningtree station, following the installation of the lift at the station. ESSCRP agreed to fund the project with Acorn village applying for additional funding.

The residents at Acorn Village are involved in the project and have designed exciting ideas for the mural. Over the next couple of weeks Greater Anglia will put up the first panel in the underpass, which will explain about the development of the mural by Acorn Village. The mural will be developed over the coming months with panels put up as they are completed.

The themes of the mural will include a train, the local area and the Mayflower Line.


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