Children from Southend community group Turning Tides joined Trenitalia-owned train operator c2c and British Transport Police (BTP) on Saturday to officially launch its new book Mo: A Day on the Train.
Approximately 50 children plus a life sized cardboard cutout of Mo celebrated the launch at Southend Central station along with book illustrator John Bulley and representatives from c2c and BTP.
The book, which was published in partnership with community group Turning Tides, the Southend Association of Voluntary Services (SAVS), c2c and BTP, tells the story of the character Mo who takes a train journey to London Fenchurch Street station with his family. Along the way, Mo learns about the best ways to stay safe and enjoy the train journey with the help of station staff and British Transport Police.
SAVS Deputy CEO Anthony Quinn, said: We are delighted to be able to engage children living in Southend and beyond with the staying safe message. We hope the children will enjoy the book and it will provoke discussion and positive behaviours when travelling on trains. We thank c2c and the BTP for their support and enthusiasm.”
c2c Revenue Protection Compliance Manager Josh Fewtrell who worked closely with SAVS and Turning Tides on the Mo book, said: “Our aim was to create a book that would provide important safety advice for children about rail travel as well as show them how fun and exciting it can be. With the help of Anthony and John we have definitely achieved that.”
Dave King, BTP’s Designing out Crime and Community Relations Officer said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to get key safety messages out to young people to enhance their experience on the railway. Safeguarding and crime reduction starts at an early age and this book helps to deliver that message.”
After the official launch, the community group, which offers a range of support and activities for young and vulnerable people, travelled up to London by train taking in the sights around the city before having a picnic outside the Tower of London.