blank
Connect with us

Great Western Railway

Brave Freya, nine, has train named in her honour by Great Western Railway

Published

on

Young Freya Bevan today unveiled a train named in her honour as Great Western Railway paid tribute to her unstinting bravery.

The nine-year-old, who is currently battling a third brain tumour, unveiled Intercity Express Train number 800317 at London Paddington before boarding her own train home to Neath.

Freya and David Walliams

She was chosen for the train naming as part of GWR’s Great Westerners campaign, recognising past and present heroes from across the network.

Other Great Westerners to be celebrated include Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Welsh sporting legends Sir Gareth Edwards and John Charles, and Paddington Bear author Michael Bond.

Freya was in London this week to meet TV star and children’s author David Walliams, having been nominated for a Pride of Britain Award.

Freya said: “Having a train named after me has made me feel really good and happy and special.”

Advertisement

Her mum Katherine added: “For Great Western Railway to recognise Freya as a Great Westerner means so much to all of us. People have recognised her great strength and determination she’s a real inspiration to so many.”

Freya was diagnosed with a Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumour (PNET) when she was just a baby and underwent pioneering treatment in America after her family raised £110,000 to fund the trip.

Sadly, in October last year, an MRI scan revealed a new tumour had grown and she returned to America for further Proton Beam Therapy with the same doctor who had treated her previously.

Since returning home a new tumour has appeared and is growing rapidly. Freya is about to start a new drug from Germany which has the ability to shrink the tumour, but it costs £1,000 a week.

Her family have embarked on another round of fundraising and anyone wishing to help can visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-fund-freyas-bevans-cancer-treatment

GWR Head of External Communications Dan Panes said: “Our Great Westerners campaign celebrates remarkable people from across our network and Freya is a brilliant example. She has shown such courage throughout her young life and we are proud to name one of our IETs in her honour.”

(Lead image: GWR)

Advertisement

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Cycling

Funding award gives green light to school cycling initiative

Published

on

By

An innovative cycle maintenance and safety awareness scheme led by pupils from Gowerton Comprehensive School has received a funding boost from the South West Wales Community Rail Partnership.

Launched in February 2021, the Partnership’s ‘Community Changemakers Fund’ is aimed at supporting people and organisations wishing to deliver improvements in communities across the region. 

More than sixty applications were received from individuals and organisations seeking a share of the £16,000 fund, which was supported by Transport for Wales, Great Western Railway, Siemens Mobility and the Community Rail Partnership.  

Administered by the Carmarthenshire Association for Voluntary Services (CAVS) and the Community Rail Partnership, between £300 and £1,000 was available to apply for; with the main criteria being able to demonstrate how funding and small interventions could improve community well-being and being located near the rail network.

In a recent community survey undertaken by the school, 89% of respondents said they would use a cycle maintenance facility while 72% said they would be interested in taking a cycling safety course. Many of the individuals interested in the safety course were adults over the age of 35.

Sue Davies, Head of physical education at Gowerton Comprehensive School, said; “The grant funding is the first step for our cycling project. The funding will enable us to equip our cycling maintenance facility and allow us to train pupils in Level 1 and Level 2 Cycle maintenance.  They will work alongside Kevin Rees of Gower Cycles to coordinate a Cycle Maintenance facility, which will be available to all members of the community.”

Advertisement

She continued; “We are also linking with the Active Journey team to develop a safe pathway to school initiative and to increase the number of pupils who can safely walk or cycle to school.  As part of the health & wellbeing curriculum, all year 7 and 8 pupils will have the opportunity to follow a safe cycling or cycle proficiency programme.  We are confident that they can cycle to school safely and that cycling can play a part in their lifelong journey as healthy active individuals.”

Part of the funding received from the Community Rail Partnership will be used to purchase cycle maintenance tools and stands.

Hugh Evans, head of community rail for Transport for Wales, said; “We are delighted to support this initiative.  It’s great to see pupils developing new skills while helping to promote healthier and safer cycling in the community.”

GWR Community Manager Emma Morris said; “We have a specific pot of money designed to support community and not-for-profit organisations. These projects will help to enhance thousands of lives across South Wales and we know the funding will be put to good use.”

Rob Morris, Managing Director, Rail Infrastructure, Siemens Mobility UK&I said; “I’m delighted that Siemens Mobility can support the Changemakers Programme. Initiatives like these help local people proactively drive positive change – particularly important in challenging times – and I’m pleased we were able to work with South West Wales Connected to create new opportunities for community engagement.”

Advertisement

Formed in 2020, the community rail partnership covers the rail routes west of Port Talbot to Swansea, Carmarthen, Pembroke Dock, Milford Haven and Fishguard Harbour.  

Its objectives are to develop positive partnerships between the rail industry and local organisations to promote social inclusion, sustainability, health and well-being, green travel, tourism and economic development across the region.

Lead image: Pictured left to right are; Jennifer Barfoot (Community Rail Officer), Toni Cardew (Projects & Impacts Officer), Kevin Rees (Cycling Coordinator Gowerton Comprehensive), Sue Davies (Head of PE, Gowerton Comprehensive) and Cassey Williams (Head Girl Gowerton Comprehensive)

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Great Western Railway

Weekend rail maintenance work may affect journeys on South Wales mainline

Published

on

By

Some train services via Bristol Parkway will be affected by essential track maintenance planned to take place over weekends in October.

Maintenance work both inside and on approach to the Severn Tunnel will impact trains between London and South Wales on four weekends.

Network Rail engineers will undertake a range of critical work including track and drainage upgrades as well as surveys and repairs on a number of bridges, tunnels and masts between Bristol Parkway and Severn Tunnel Junction.

Weekends of 9/10, 16/17 and 23/24 October, and Sunday 31 October:

  • Trains between London Paddington and Swansea will not stop at Bristol Parkway
  • These services will use an alternative route between Swindon and Newport instead – extending journey times by around 40 minutes
  • Trains will still run between Taunton and Bristol Temple Meads, and between Portsmouth Harbour and Bristol Parkway instead of Cardiff Central
  • Train services will also continue to run from Bristol Parkway towards the Midlands, the North of England or Scotland as well as towards the South West
  • Travel via Bristol Temple Meads instead for trains towards Swindon, Didcot Parkway, Reading or London Paddington
  • Buses will replace trains between Bristol Parkway and Newport – running non-stop every 30 minutes and stopping at all stations hourly.

GWR Customer Service Manager, South Wales, David Bailey said: “This work is vital to ensure the safe operation of the railway for years to come, and we thank passengers in advance for their understanding.”

Miles Harvey, Network Rail Scheme Project Manager commented: “We would like thank passengers for their patience and understanding while we complete this essential work.

“The railway line between England and south Wales is a vital artery in Britain’s transport infrastructure and this work needs to be carried out to ensure we can continue to provide a safe and reliable route for passengers and freight for many years to come.”

Advertisement

There are also plans to carry out work between Bristol Parkway and Swindon when long-distance services are diverted away from this route.

This planned engineering work will help to protect a key route for customers travelling between South Wales and London or Bristol for years to come.

Work will be suspended on Saturday 30 October when Wales are due to play New Zealand at the Principality Stadium in the 2021 autumn internationals.

Rugby fans travelling via Cardiff Central for the game should however note that train services will be affected the following day, Sunday 31 October.

(Lead image: GWR)

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Carmarthenshire

Rail partnership funding signals new opportunities for community organisations

Published

on

By

Sixteen community-based organisations across South West Wales are to receive a funding boost following successful applications to an initiative delivered by the South West Wales Community Rail Partnership.

Launched in February 2021, the Partnership’s ‘Community Changemakers Fund’ is aimed at supporting people and organisations wishing to deliver improvements in communities across the region.

More than sixty applications were received from individuals and organisations seeking a share of the £16,000 fund, which was supported by Transport for Wales, Great Western Railway, Siemens Mobility and the Community Rail Partnership. 

Administered by the Carmarthenshire Association for Voluntary Services (CAVS) and the Community Rail Partnership, between £300 and £1,000 was available to apply for; with the main criteria being able to demonstrate how funding and small interventions could improve community well-being and being located near the rail network.

Organisations celebrating the awarding of grant funding include:

Advertisement
  • Neath Port TalbotCoeden Bywyd Horse Project Community Interest Company.  (pictured above) A small community initiative based in Pontrhydyfen near Neath, the group delivers mentoring and well-being sessions to young people with a small herd of horses who assist and facilitate in sessions.  The group will use their grant to construct an outdoor shelter that will allow sessions to be delivered in all weathers. 
  • City & County of SwanseaGowerton School Charity Committee Safe Cycling Project.  The school successfully bid for a grant to provide both cycle maintenance and cycle proficiency opportunities at Gowerton School, in addition to the delivery of a cycle safety course for children and adults.
  • CarmarthenshireYsgol Gymraeg Parc y Tywyn PTA.  The school, located in Burry Port, will use their grant to transform an internal area into a role-play village. The village will resemble elements of the seaside town with shops and amenities within the local community.  The village will support the development of the pupils’ literacy, communication and numeracy skills as well as their personal and social skills.
  • PembrokeshireVisit Milford Haven.  Led by a group of local community volunteers, Visit Milford Haven aims to champion the town as a visitor destination and an excellent place to live and work.  The group will use their grant to introduce ‘Ambassadors’ to help improve the visitor experience and promote the town as a great place to visit.  Volunteers will attend a one-day course and all who participate will receive a certificate for their workplace/business and Ambassador badge.

Full details of all successful applications can be found by visiting https://www.southwestwales.co/changemakers-fund/

Rachel Adams, a member of the Coeden Bywyd Horse project in Pontrhydyfen, said: “Our project is about young people.  We help young people find a sense of wellbeing and gain confidence.  I help facilitate but it’s all about the horses!”

She continued; “This funding will be used to build a shelter so the sessions can continue whatever the weather and people will continue to leave feeling happy!”

GWR Community Manager Emma Morris said; “We have a specific pot of money designed to support community and not-for-profit organisations. These projects will help to enhance thousands of lives across South Wales and we know the funding will be put to good use.”

Rob Morris, Managing Director, Rail Infrastructure, Siemens Mobility UK&I said; “I’m delighted that Siemens Mobility can support the Changemakers Programme. Initiatives like these help local people proactively drive positive change – particularly important in challenging times – and I’m pleased we were able to work with South West Wales Connected to create new opportunities for community engagement.”

Advertisement

Hugh Evans, head of community rail for Transport for Wales, said; “We have been delighted to support this initiative.  Supporting local community organisations during these very difficult times is so important and the passion shown by each project is really inspiring.  Good luck to all and we look forward to visiting the projects in due course.”

South West Wales Connected, “We are really excited to support changemakers within communities, who are stepping up to make a difference locally!  It has been really inspiring to hear about these projects and an honour to be able to help.”

Formed in 2020, the community rail partnership covers the rail routes west of Port Talbot to Swansea, Carmarthen, Pembroke Dock, Milford Haven and Fishguard Harbour. 

Its objectives are to develop positive partnerships between the rail industry and local organisations to promote social inclusion, sustainability, health and well-being, green travel, tourism and economic development across the region.

Lead image: Coeden Bywyd Horse Project CIC – One of the groups to have received funding

Advertisement

YOU MAY HAVE MISSED…

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Swansea Bay News