Vocational Access students from Coleg Ceredigion have been involved in an award winning project in partnership with the Cambrian Railways Partnership, Arriva Train Wales and Derwen College in Gobowen.

The Cambrian Railways Partnership (CRP) won two awards at the Association for Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) annual award ceremony. The prestigious ceremony, held in Torquay on the south English coast, celebrated the work of rail companies, stakeholders and hundreds of volunteers who promote and develop train services across the UK.

The CRP was acclaimed for its work in the ‘Passengers Matter’ category involving students from Coleg Ceredigion in Aberystwyth and Derwen College, Oswestry. The winning entry was for a new short film produced by the CRP entitled ‘A Helping Hand’, which drew together the information required by individuals with learning difficulties and/or mobility issues when using the rail service. The film used real-life case studies and featured students planning and undertaking journeys making use of the assistance available to them on the UK rail network. The film was hailed as a highly innovative, groundbreaking, and ‘first of its kind’ production.

Maggie Neville, Vocational Access lecturer at Coleg Ceredigion, commented: “This project was a great achievement and a fantastic experience for our learners which helped them build their confidence. We’re very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a worthwhile project.”

Rhydian Mason, Rail Development Officer of the Cambrian Rail Partnership, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that our local community rail partnership has won this award. We’ve been able to come up with some-thing 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, Coleg Ceredigion and Derwen College. It shows that by working together we can achieve results which will have positive impacts not only within our Cambrian lines region, but nationally.”

Coleg Ceredigion Principal, Jacqui Weatherburn, commented: "The film shows that nothing is impossible for anyone, and freedom to travel is available to all. I am delighted that our students have been able to contribute to this ground breaking project. The opportunity to be involved has contributed to their own independent living skills and also enabled them to contribute to the independent living of others with additional needs. Congratulations to all who have been involved; a truly award winning venture.”