80 passengers enjoyed a pre-Christmas trip aboard the memory train on Wednesday 6 December.
The trip was for residents in the district living with dementia or mild cognitive impairment to enjoy with a family member, friend or carer.
The train carriages provided a very festive atmosphere with Christmas decorations and music.
Passengers travelled to Ongar Railway Station from North Weald where they were met by Father Christmas who gave everyone a surprise gift.
The final part of the trip was a magical journey through the forest before being greeted by volunteers back at North Weald who offered mulled wine and mince pies to all on the train.
A chance to reminisce
This was the fourth memory train event, made possible by Epping Open Gardens, Epping Ongar Railway and Epping Forest District Council’s (EFDC) Community Development and Wellbeing team.
The free event offered the opportunity to reminisce, take in the beautiful views of the district’s countryside and learn from the exceptional knowledge shared by Epping Ongar Railway volunteers.
A fun and memorable day
One passenger said:
Huge thank you to all that made a fun and memorable day. The attention and warmth from everyone was just lovely and I know my parents thoroughly enjoyed their time. Events like this mean a lot, not only those with memory issues, but their carers too.
The trip was fantastic. It was our second year and residents loved every minute. We were made very welcome by the staff. We would definitely like to join other activities.
Epping Forest District Council Chairman, Cllr Darshan Sunger who attended the event, said:
This was a fantastic event; it was an absolute joy to be a part of.
A big thank you to the EFDC Community Development and Wellbeing team, Epping Ongar Railway and Epping Open Gardens for making it possible. It truly evoked the spirit of Christmas.
Cllr Smruti Patel, Portfolio Holder for Community, Health and Wellbeing said:
The memory train is such a fun idea. Events like this are so important to give those living with dementia and their families a chance to relax and enjoy something different together.
It’s a great example of organisations in the district working in partnership to deliver such a valued event.
For more information or to get involved with future projects, contact Laura Cleverley, Epping Forest District Council Dementia Action Officer,
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