Passengers treated to tasty treats to celebrate the National Autistic Society's 60th birthday

Passengers at Todmorden stations were treated to cakes to celebrate the National Autistic Society's 60th birthday during Autism Acceptance Week.

By Ian Hirst
Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 6:30 am

Community Rail Lancashire marked the event to raise awareness of the UK’s first Autism Friendly Line (which runs between Blackburn and Manchester Victoria via Todmorden) and the films that have been created to support those who might lack confidence in rail travel.

The films provide insight about the station layout, how to buy tickets and how to safely join the train.

Shahiesta Raja, Community Rail Education Development Officer, and Ayesha Kamran from the Stations of Welcome Group spent a morning distributing cakes and flyers, chatting to people and raising awareness of the Autism Friendly Line and its accompanying videos.

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Ayesha Kamran treating Todmorden Station's Steve Messenger to a cake

Ayesha said: “Shahiesta and I had a lovely morning offering 60 cakes to passengers at Accrington and Todmorden in celebration of the National Autistic Society's 60th birthday.

"We were joined by members of our 'Stations of Welcome' group who were absolutely excellent at sharing the awareness and being friendly to all.

“The Stations of Welcome group was formed in Accrington after the pandemic to help support positive mental health and wellbeing. Chatting to people and helping raise awareness of the Autism Friendly Line was great experience for the group as many of them had suffered from anxiety and a lack of confidence when speaking to people.

"It was wonderful to see them engaging confidently with people.”

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