CCF and CrossCountry Trains visit projects supported by their Customer & Communities Improvement Fund

Tamara Sherston-Baker, CCF’s Development Director, and CCF Trustee Jane Hartley were joined by Sarah Gould, Beth Hayton and Simon Tomlinson from CrossCountry Trains who spent an afternoon visiting two of the nine projects awarded from their Customer & Communities Improvement Fund.

CrossCountry Rail operates trains from Penzance to Liskeard, running through some of the Duchy’s major towns. CrossCountry Rail wanted to support these communities, many of which are experiencing high levels of in-work poverty, social deprivation and mental health and well-being concerns.

The CrossCountry Rail Fund supports community groups, charities and social enterprises across Cornwall, with priority given to projects based in towns where CrossCountry stations are located.

The fund welcomed applications primarily from projects helping:

  • Education and employability skills amongst marginalised groups
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Social mobility
  • Accessibility
  • Environment/sustainability

In total nine groups were successefully awarded with grants, these included MCH Wheal Prosper CIC and Get Together Cornwall CIC who they visited together to understand more about their projects and the positive impact this will have on local communities.

MCH Wheal Prosper CIC, operating in St Austell and Bodmin, were awarded £5,000 for their inclusivity project. This project will firmly connect with the local community through activities and support that are appropriate to meet the needs of our citizens. A feeling of belonging within their own community to feel safe and to use the facilities to enable a wider group engagement within their town/county.

Their principles are based on a strengths approach to enable those we support to utilise their own strengths. By applying this approach enables individuals to strengthen themselves to be resilient in their day-to-day life and by enabling more choice and opportunity for people with disabilities, particularly those with a learning disability and autism. The main aim is to promote accessibility within their environment, equality and inclusion within their communities. To enable life chances, changes and opportunities to access education and offering support through either paid employment or voluntary opportunities as this group is often marginalised through their disabilities.

Get Together Cornwall CIC who are based near Liskeard, were awarded with a grant of £4,514 which will help create/build a sensory growing and counselling multi-purpose space. Get Together Cornwall CIC’s overall aim is to create a disabled friendly, safe, trauma-informed bespoke counselling service supporting families who have experienced trauma from domestic or sexual abuse.

The growing project works on the principal of distraction, having an object in the hand, creates alleviation of pressure when a person is reliving/talking about their trauma.

Sarah Gould, Interim Regional Director of CrossCountry Trains said: It was great to be out on the network and meet the inspirational people growing their own communities and changing lives across Cornwall; as one of the only train operators in the area it’s important that we support our customers and communities in Cornwall wherever we can.

A big thank you to both groups for allowing us to come and visit their projects and to CrossCountry Trains for their generous funding, helping to make Cornwall a better place for all.