On 16th July, 30 children between the ages of 6 and 15, along with their parents or carers were treated to a day out at the Holmer Green Model Railway.
Arranged by the Beaconsfield Freemasonry in the Community (FIC) Committee the visit was to give the children, who suffer from Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and their siblings and families a day of fun and enjoyment in a safe, interactive environment.
The FIC team of Steve Matthews, his wife Helen, and Sean Boardman of Hall Barn Lodge, 8480; Barry Sparks and Graham Thorn of Penn and Tylers Green Lodge, 5876; along with Eric Stephens, Events Secretary of the Model Railway Club, and his members organised the day.
For three and a half hours the children and parents had unlimited rides on the steam trains with a break at half time to sample a BBQ supplied by Eric and his assistants. After their lunch, some of the children were given the wonderful opportunity of driving an electric locomotive on the tracks.
Sarah Snow, co-ordinator at the Engine Shed, and the parents thanked all concerned for a wonderful occasion. Everyone was delighted with the event and said it was a day that they would remember for a long time.
ASD is a condition that affects social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour.
The Engine Shed was initially set up in 2009 with an UnLtd Award. The key aims of the group are:
To provide a unique, special interest facility for children and young people on the autistic spectrum to enjoy with their families. To provide an opportunity for families to share and learn new strategies aimed at promoting the learning and social skills of their children, using their love of trains as an entry point. To create a friendly and supportive atmosphere in which all children, siblings, parents and other family members can feel comfortable and relaxed. To involve brothers and sisters in the often solitary activities of their siblings on the autistic spectrum. To provide opportunities for brothers and sisters with ASD siblings to share experiences.