“Field trips are important in education. They enable children to see beyond what is local to them.”
Community Rail Lancashire's David Savage shares why he got onboard with Avanti West Coast's Feel Good Field Trips initiative.
28 April 2023
David Savage of Community Rail Lancashire, shares why he got onboard with Avanti West Coast’s Feel Good Field Trips initiative to give young people access to learning opportunities and experiences.
As a Community Rail Officer, I work with the local community and schools to promote rail safety, careers in the industry, as well as encourage people to travel by train. My initial focus is developing Avanti West Coast’s Feel Good Field Trips - an initiative giving pupils aged 4 – 18 the chance to travel by train for hands-on learning and culturally diverse days out. This is my dream job because field trips are enjoyable memories you have as a child.
My love of Geography and the outdoors started on a school trip to Wales. Growing up in inner city Liverpool was a huge contrast to the wide, open spaces of the Welsh countryside! I remember walking through fields, which stretched for miles and listening to the running water from nearby rivers. It was strikingly different to the noise of traffic in Liverpool. When I returned home, I couldn’t wait for my next trip outdoors. This experience left an everlasting impression and started my love of walking, hiking, and running outdoors.
I want them to feel inspired. I want them to go home and tell their friends and family. I want them to have experienced something they may otherwise wouldn’t have chance to.
I chose to study Environmental Science at Aberystwyth University, which was my passion. It was perfect for me, as I was so close to the mountains of Snowdonia. I joined the university’s walking and mountain biking clubs, so I could explore the amazing local landscapes. After finishing university, I worked at outdoor education centres in the USA and in Wales.
During my 15 years as Head of Geography, I took thousands of pupils on trips, and these were some of my favourite days while teaching. Field trips are important in a child's education. They offer a unique cultural learning experience. They can boost confidence and independence while taking children out of their comfort zone. They enable children to see beyond what is local to them, which is important.I’ve been setting up hands-on, interactive, and enriching experiences – from a tour to the top of the Royal Liver Building to outdoor education in the Lake District. This initiative will give thousands of pupils an opportunity to go on a trip – some of them travelling by train for the first time.
I hope the children who participate in these trips have an enjoyable day out that they’ll always remember. I want them to feel inspired. I want them to go home and tell their friends and family. I want them to have experienced something they may otherwise wouldn’t have chance to.
I’m proud to be connecting young people from all backgrounds to learning opportunities and experiences that may have previously been inaccessible. I cannot wait to see them make a train journey or discover something new. I hope their days out are memorable and spark something in them – just like it did for me when I visited Wales during high school.
Find out more about Feel Good Field Trips: https://www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/feel-good-field-trips
Main image: David Savage, Community Rail Officer at Lancashire Community Rail Partnership
Images (top to bottom): David Savage; David Savage chatting to a pupil during their Feel Good Field Trip; David Savage at Gladstone Pottery Museum in Stoke-on-Trent; David Savage talks to a pupil taking part in a field trip