Airedale Hospital and Community Charity teamed up with Ultimate Commercial Interiors Ltd. on Friday 18 August to formally open its most exciting new addition: a train!
The retired Pacer train, aptly named The Flying Dalesman, is now fitted with a private sensory room, making it an ideal non-clinical space for those with additional needs. Children can also play on the Nintendo Switch, read the collection of children’s books, relax on comfortable bean bags in the outdoor courtyard, and enjoy sitting in the driver’s cab at the front of the train.
As part of the opening ceremony, the ribbon was cut by Keighley’s youngest train enthusiast, Charlie, age 9. His mum, Charlotte, who works at the hospital, said: “The train will be a wonderful asset to children attending the hospital; it is a fantastic, calming space that will provide a positive experience to those attending the hospital.
“Personally for Charlie, he loves everything to do with trains; having this on site will ensure he will be more relaxed with upcoming appointments and associate them as something to look forward to.”
The project was led by Airedale Hospital and Community Charity, who won the train in 2019 in a ‘Transform a Pacer’ competition ran by the Department for Transport.
Foluke Ajayi, Chief Executive of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The team at Ultimate Commercial Interiors Ltd. have been instrumental in pulling the whole community together and helping us renovate this space.
“The wellbeing and experience of our patients is crucial to us, and The Flying Dalesman is the perfect space for children to forget any anxiety they may have when they come to the hospital for appointments.”
Foluke Ajayi, Chief Executive of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust
Ultimate took on the design and implementation of the interior, along with its partners and suppliers. The design brings the outdoors in with transport-themed décor, cosy fairy lights, and natural elements, such as a decorative tree made from recycled materials.
Paul Alexander, Director at Ultimate, said: “Here at Ultimate we pride ourselves on creating inspirational environments for amazing people, we therefore approached developing a solution for the Pacer train in exactly the same way.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the end result and it was a privilege to see visitors both young and old interacting in the many vibrant zones we created.
“We hope that this space brings joy to many for years to come.”
The Ultimate Team
Jodie Hearnshaw, Head of Charity at Airedale, said: “We’re so proud of what we have achieved here, and it’s all thanks to our amazing donors and sponsors.
“Thanks to the help of our supporters, we have been able to create an amazing non-clinical space that will be ideal both for our young patients and for community hiring.”
The Flying Dalesman was aptly named by Nabilah Mayat, one of Airedale’s own junior doctors, after winning a naming competition within the hospital.
Nabilah said: “As a train enthusiast, I was very excited to find out about our Pacer at Airedale, so I’m delighted to have won the competition to name the Flying Dalesman.
“I’m happy to say the space shows a level of excellence much like the inspiration for the name – The Flying Scotsman!”
Nabilah Mayat, Junior Doctor (right); Lucy Williams, Charity Assistant (left)