Model train appeal issued by Great Yarmouth charity centre

Centre 81 member Richard Jex with a model train display. Picture by TMS Media

Centre 81 member Richard Jex with a model train display. Picture by TMS Media - Credit: Archant

Have you got an unwanted train set that could help members of a skills and activities centre for the disabled get their lives back on track?

That is the plea being issued by Great Yarmouth's Centre 81.

In April 2016 Centre 81 appealed for donations of model trains and other model train making paraphernalia. The response was really successful resulting in a number of Centre 81 members, supported by facilitation staff, to create a scenic model railway measuring 10 by eight feet.

This has inspired Centre 81 members who have a range of disabilities caused by illness or trauma to create other model railway boards on a smaller scale which, due to their reliance on their wheelchairs, is fully accessible.

Centre 81 at Great Yarmouth runs sessions for 70 members.

Among them is 62-year-old Richard Jex, from Southtown who was left with balance and mood swing problems after his stroke and also suffers from epilepsy.

After initially sitting at home not wanting to do anything, he joined the charity-run Centre 81 and now attends five days a week and enjoys activities including arts and crafts.

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Having been inspired by a larger model railway layout project at the centre, he is now working on his own smaller version – which he wants to share with other members.

'I liked the big layout but it is so big it has to be stored away a lot of the time. I am making my own which can be out all the time for everyone to enjoy.

'I have made the scenery, but I haven't got any locos or a power pack – they are all burned out, ' said Mr Jex.

Centre 81 skills and activities manager Julie Charles said: 'Members have learned about what can be done through the earlier layout and are now enjoying making their own using their craft skills. Any locos, carriages and wagons that the public can donate will be much appreciated.'

If you can help drop any items off at Centre 81 on Tar Works Road, or call phone 01493 852573.

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