6 Oct 2015 | Category: News

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THE CAMBRIAN Railways Partnership (CRP) has won two prestigious national awards at the Association for Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) annual award ceremony. Held in Torquay on the English Riviera, the awards celebrate the work of rail companies, stakeholders and hundreds of volunteers who promote and develop train services across the UK.

The CRP has been acclaimed for its work in the ‘Passengers Matter’ category with students from Coleg Ceredigion in Aberystwyth and Derwen College, Oswestry, who star in a film produced by Aber Media Productions and is aimed at helping customers with additional or special needs to travel by train.

In addition, the CRP’s Rail Development Officer along with Cllr Trevor Roberts of the Cambrian Implementation Group picked up the ‘Outstanding Teamwork Award’ for the Implementation Groups role in attracting additional train services on the Cambrian Lines from May of this year – a project which involved the Welsh Government, Arriva Trains Wales, Network Rail, the Cambrian Railways Partnership, along with multiple user groups along the lines.

The ‘Passengers Matter’ winning entry was for a new short film produced by the CRP entitled ‘A Helping Hand’, which has for the first time brought all the information that might be required by those with learning difficulties and/or mobility issues together in one place. It uses real-life case studies and features students from 2 local colleges planning and making their journeys whilst making use of all the assistance available to them on the UK rail network.

The film has been hailed as a highly innovative, ground-breaking, and ‘first of its kind’ production.

Rhydian Mason, Rail Development Officer of the CRP said that winning the ACoRP award was an incredible achievement:

“I’m absolutely thrilled that our local community rail partnership has won this award. We’ve been able to come up with something that’s never been done before in this style, and what’s more, it’s been the result of a wider partnership between ourselves, Arriva Trains Wales, Aber Media Productions, and of course, Derwen College and Coleg Ceredigion. It shows that by working together we can achieve results which will have positive impacts not only within our Cambrian lines region, but nationally.”

Sarah Laszlo, Learner Voice Programme Co-ordinator at Derwen College said that this was an amazing project to be a part of:

“We’re really proud to have been involved in this from its inception, and it’s great to see an idea come to fruition and receive such an acclaim within a year.”

Maggie Neville, Vocational Access lecturer at Coleg Ceredigion, commented: “This project is a great achievement and a fantastic experience for our learners that has helped them to build their confidence. We’re very grateful of the opportunity to be a part of such a worthwhile project that highlights the support that’s available for vulnerable adults.”

Phil Caldwell, Arriva Trains Wales’ Schools Liaison Officer, who collected the award along with Rhydian and some of the students who starred in the film said that he was immensely proud of the film:

“It’s been an absolute privilege to work with the students at both colleges on this project, and I’m delighted for all involved that we’ve achieved this national accolade. I’m confident that this film will enable thousands of young people, like the stars of our film, to choose to travel by rail knowing how to plan and carry out a journey with confidence and a little ‘Helping Hand’ from train operating companies.”

The film is available free of charge to view on youtube, and is available bilingually.