A PROJECT which saw an old railway carriage transformed into a popular facility for young hospital patients has earned recognition in an awards scheme.

A 'retired' Pacer carriage was won by Airedale Hospital & Community Charity in a competition run by the Department for Transport.

The train, once a familiar sight on the rail network before its withdrawal from service, has been converted to offer a non-clinical space for youngsters on the children’s ward at the Steeton hospital and for those visiting the paediatric outpatients department.

Now Airedale Hospital & Community Charity and Cross Hills-based Ultimate (Commercial Interiors) Ltd have received an accolade for their collaboration on the initiative.

They have been presented with a Celebrate as One honour in the 'working in partnership' category of Bradford District and Craven’s Health and Care in Partnership Awards.

The awards scheme recognises projects across the NHS, community and care sectors throughout the district.

After winning the train carriage in 2019, the charity chose to transform it into both a non-clinical haven for hospital patients and a community space available for hire.

Ultimate designed the Pacer's new-look interior.

Renamed The Flying Dalesman, features of the converted unit include creative spaces, sensory zones, areas for reading and learning and an indoor tree.

Also, the driver’s cab has been restored.

Jodie Hearnshaw, manager of Airedale Hospital & Community Charity, says: "This has been a long project in the making.

"We won the train before Covid, but then had to pause everything during the pandemic.

"Partnering with Ultimate was a game-changer and we're delighted the company came aboard – its amazing contribution deserves to be recognised with this award and we are so proud that we’ve won it together.

"The train is a fantastic space that we hope will entertain our younger patients and be a great resource for the community."

Ultimate (Commercial Interiors) director, Paul Alexander, says: "We’re absolutely delighted that everybody who had a hand in this inspiring and unique project has had their efforts recognised with a Celebrate as One award for The Flying Dalesman.

"Our team is proud of its role in the project and thanks our sponsors and delivery partners for crafting such a vibrant space for the community to enjoy."

Rail operator Northern sponsored the Pacer's renovation through its customer and community improvement fund.

For more about Airedale Hospital & Community Charity, visit airedalecharity.org, email anhsft.charity@nhs.net or call 01535 294870.