We have received some amazing news this week. Funding from The Harrison Foundation has made it possible to turn our second train carriage into a STEM hub. The Stem hub will be part of the Harrison Foundations Social mobility centres.

The Harrison Foundation partnership will have a major impact helping to target various issues including giving disadvantaged children life skills and opportunities aiming to break the cycle of poverty, using the train as an inspirational setting to learn.

The Dales School in Blyth recently appealed for additional support to transform the second train carriage into a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) room to target early career aspirations with local businesses in ICT, mechanics, architecture and science.

After hearing about the project from Blyth MP Ian Levy, the North-East based Harrison Foundation has stepped in to provide additional funding for the STEM room, which will also be used to teach practical railway safety and independent travel skills for children with special educational needs.

Dr Sue Fisher, headteacher at The Dales School, commented: “The Dales School is extremely proud to be working with the Harrison Foundation, particularly as they have helped so many individuals to gain life experiences, this is something we are passionate about at The Dales School. Their community work aligns within our vision for the STEM carriage. With the Harrison Foundation as our partner, we will be able to achieve our vision and aspirations to benefit and inspire the next generation.”

Harrison Foundation trustee, Daniel Harrison, added: “I’m delighted that the Harrison Foundation is supporting The Dales School and the next phase of this great idea. Our projects come in all shapes and sizes and which school children would not be excited to have a real train in their playground, where they can read and learn? It’s a great idea and one that we’re delighted to support.”

“I’d like to also thank local MP Ian Levy who played a vital role in connecting us with the Dales school and paving the way for the support we’re able to offer this amazing project.”

Blyth Valley MP, Ian Levy, said: “I’ve been really impressed with the ambition of this project and am happy to have been able to help in some small way. The school, and James Groundwater in particular, deserve huge credit for their persistence in making it happen and I’d like to thank all of the organisations and companies who contributed including the Harrison Foundation. It’s great to have such a wonderful facility in Blyth Valley and to see it on the television.”