Airedale Hospital Community Charity Train Carriage, Steeton

Airedale Hospital and Community Charity won the retired train carriage in 2019 in the ‘Transform a Pacer’ competition ran by the Department for Transport. In early 2022, they reached out to Ultimate to explore collaboration on the project. Recognising the opportunity to contribute to our local community, we eagerly embraced the challenge.

Our objective was to convert the pacer carriage into a unique and innovative space that could benefit patients and local community groups associated with Airedale Hospital. Starting with an empty shell, we, in collaboration with James from ThisIsInteriors, crafted a concept design following discussions with the Airedale Hospital Community Charity team to incorporate their ideas. The design featured a sensory room, a reading nook, seating areas, a small fridge, and custom joinery. It was unanimously agreed that the front cabin should retain its authenticity as a place for patients and the community to enjoy.

The entire Ultimate team actively participated in the project, from cleaning the carriage and sourcing materials to donating toys, books, and decorations, with support from our supply partners. The design aimed to bring the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales into the carriage, incorporating transport-themed decor, cosy soft furnishings, and natural elements, including a recycled material decorative tree. Space3, our partner, contributed a captivating design for the train windows, featuring silhouettes of passengers and a train driver, allowing natural light into the carriage. Internal graphics included a train tunnel on the reading nook, a rainbow on bespoke joinery by J Carey Design, and a view of the track through the driver’s cab.

The retired Pacer train, aptly named The Flying Dalesman, has been fitted with an incredible private sensory room, making it an ideal non-clinical space for those with additional needs. A small gaming area has been created where children can now play on the Nintendo Switch or enjoy the cosy tunnel themed reading nook to read the wide collection of children’s books mostly donated by the Ultimate team. We have provided comfortable bean bags to lounge in the outdoor courtyard during the sunny weather and If that’s not enough visitors can also enjoy sitting in the driver’s cab at the front of the train, change the destination of the train and view the original inner workings of the train through a perspex window.

Members of the Ultimate team also joined Airedale Hospital Community Charity on the launch of the newly transformed pacer train carriage, The launch party was a great success and Ultimate feel honoured to have been asked to take on this fantastic charity project, it was incredible to see all the smiling faces when children & adults entered the carriage.

We are thrilled to announce that Ultimate and Airedale Hospital and Community Charity received a Celebrate as One Award in the ‘Working in Partnership’ category of the Bradford District and Craven’s Health and Care in Partnership Awards 2023. This recognition is a testament to the dedication of the Ultimate team and their efforts in making this charity project a local success.