A new colouring book is to be made available at railway stations for children to take with them on their journeys.
Created by artist Matt Jones, the book particularly aims to help children with autism and anxiety and other conditions feel more relaxed when travelling.
Matt has teamed up with the Bittern Line and Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnerships, train operator Greater Anglia, the Lowestoft Central Project and Norfolk & Waveney MIND charity to
publish the ‘Bouncing Brains Happy Travels’ books which will be available free of charge at several railway stations and other outlets, following a launch event and family Colouring Day being held at
Lowestoft station on Saturday 12th August.
The event will include free colouring books, with pencils donated by Learn Play Nexus, and a live art workshop and will take place between 11am and 3pm on Saturday 12 August at Lowestoft railway
Over 10,000 colouring books have been produced which will be distributed to railway stations around the region over the coming weeks with hopes that more versions will be produced via the
nationwide Community Rail movement.
Bouncing Brains was devised by Artist Matt Jones following a rail journey. Matt said, “I was invited by a friend to go to Colchester for a day out to help care for two people with Autism. We started off in
the town, where we met a former carer. We chatted and I explained to him that I had some anxiety issues about travelling to big cities. He then told me that a big problem for people with anxiety and
people who suffer with mental health conditions is they either don’t travel well or don’t travel at all. “This got me thinking, when I travel by train, I take my sketchbook and pens to keep me occupied
and this works for me. Early one morning, I’d gone out for a ride on my bike, I often take a sketch book with me so when the idea came to me about a colouring book called Bouncing Brains, I quickly
drew a sketch. On my way home I passed the Dragon Fly mental health children’s unit near Lowestoft, popped in to say hi, and after a quick chat about the idea, I went home and used the
computer to make a draft concept book.
Martin Halliday Development Officer at Community Rail Norfolk said, “We are delighted to have supported Matt in this project and to have funded the printing of the superb Bouncing Brains Happy
Travels colouring books. The initiative was welcomed by Greater Anglia’s Accessibility and Inclusion Manager who has offered to make the books available across their network. “Making travel by rail as
accessible as possible is very important to both the Bittern Line and Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnerships and we are looking forward to the special launch event hosted by the Lowestoft Central
Project at Lowestoft station on Saturday 12th August.”
Written by: John