Three Community groups in the North will be making use of the much maligned Pacer train after the Department of Transport announcement of the Government’s Transform a Pacer competition.

The competition means that after three decades of service to Northern communities retired Pacer trains will now serve them in new and exciting ways focused on bringing the community together.

The three winners are Platform 1 mental health charity, Airedale NHS Trust and Fagley Primary School.

Platform 1, a men’s mental health charity, will be converting their Pacer into a kitchen to teach cooking skills to those they support. The charity, located at the former Platform 1 of Huddersfield Station, already use retired train carriages as a safe space, counselling and learning environment to help hundreds of local men deal with mental health issues.

Airedale NHS Trust plan to transform their carriage into a mixed-use, non-clinical space to improve the experience of patients using Airedale General Hospital. With a particular focus on helping children and families, as well as those suffering with dementia, it will provide a unique communal environment to support patients during their stay.

Fagley Primary School, based in Bradford, will set the Pacer up as a new science lab for students, helping promote STEM learning. The train carriage will also benefit the wider community, who will have access to the space for talks and events.

The winners were announced on last night’s ‘The One Show’ on BBC One. Platform 1 was profiled as part of the show alongside other shortlisted entrants. The programme spoke to staff, volunteers and people whose lives have been improved by the mental health charity.


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