On 29th November 2023 we took a group of thirteen students from Sheppey College to the Travel Safe Travel Smart centre in Margate.
Travel training began as soon as we reached the station with a reminder to keep behind the yellow line until the train has arrived and stopped and to let passengers off of the train first. We also provided coaching in the use of the departure boards to check you are on the right platform and know the departure time of your train.
Therese explained the inspiring project work Sheppey College students have helped us with at all of the stations along the line to Sittingbourne. As station adopters they have created information panels, built planters, seating and a model of the Kingsferry bridge, planted flowers, and undertaken work experience opportunities, contributing to our communities while growing their own skills and confidence.
Once at the centre Nicola Dooris and Catherine Lamb led sessions designed to raise awareness of the dangers of tresspassing, facilities available to make your journey easier and how to get help from railway staff and British Transport Police.
Hard hitting videos from the You vs Train educational resources reinforced the messages to keep off the tracks and stay behind the yellow line as being key to staying safe from the dangers of moving trains and the electricity that powers them.
Students were also reminded of the need to have a valid ticket for their journey, to use departure boards and platform matrix displays to check train times and platforms, to look for railway staff and help points if they need assistance and how to get help from the British Transport Police through the 61016 service or Railway Guardian app if they ever feel at risk when travelling by train.
The Travel Safe Travel Smart team gave away a few freebies and we made sure everyone received a 61016 card.
On the journey back students were asked if they felt scared about using the railway. Everybody said that they now knew how to use the railway safely, the dangers of tresspass and how to get help and assistance should they need it.
Our thanks go to Network Rail and Southeastern for their help organising the trip, and to the tutors and students of Sheppey College for participating in the learning.