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Song writing workshops promote community voices throughout the Northern network

10 August 2020
A singer-song writer has collaborated with school children, adults with learning disabilities and other members of the community along the Northern network to write songs about their experiences of travelling by train. 

As part of the Lyric & Line project, Gareth Davies-Jones worked with three groups with additional needs, using music to explore the adventure of travelling by train, and the barriers that may prevent them from doing so.  

Gareth worked with Gibside School, a special needs school in Whickham, Zig Zag, which works with isolated people in Haltwhistle’s rural community and Journey, a Hexham-based charity supporting adults with additional needs.  

The project is supported by Northern and funded by Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership.  

Songs included handy tips about travelling by rail such as ‘make sure you get to the station on time’ while another concluded that it is ‘the best way to see the world’.  

Tony Baxter, Regional Director for Northern, said: “Northern is fully committed to its role as a key part of the communities it service. 

“I’m really pleased we’ve been able to support Lyric & Line and we will always seek to promote projects like this that are not only inclusive, but also inspire community engagement across our network.”  

Fiona Forsythe, Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership Officer said: “Lyric & Line has helped groups look at the railway in a different light and increased their confidence to ‘give it a go’.” 

Gareth Davies-Jones added: “It has been an exciting and wonderful opportunity to work with these special groups of people. Music and song writing, in particular, can unlock ideas and perspectives that might not otherwise be heard. Lyric & Line is helping them and others to see the possibilities of the railway through fresh eyes”.  

More Lyric & Line workshops are set to take place and will be run virtually as passengers return to rail.  

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