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Smiling sun Anglia Railways helps Ginge promote MS Week!

Our very own Wheelchair-riding Wild Woman Sandie 'Ginge' Bailes hit the (Norwich Evening News) headlines in April '03 when she persuaded UK train company Anglia Railways to fund her trip to London to promote MS awareness!

Sandie, a long-time member of the Jooly's Joint email discussion group JJUK, and known to many as our popular blogger, hoped to travel from her home in Norwich to the England's capital city, London, to take part in the UK MS Society's MS Week and help raise awareness of MS.

Sandie Bailes at Norwich station

Sandie and husband Arf (both pictured above) were determined to make the trip, despite being short of funds to pay for the return train tickets to London!

Resourceful as ever, our Ginge wrote a letter to Anglia Railways asking if they could help. Much to her delight the train operator soon replied, offering Sandie and Arf return tickets to London, first class!

Our intredpid pair travelled to London on the 12pm Anglia Railways service from Norwich on Wednesday 9th April '03, with Sandie and wheelchair decorated from top to bottom in MS Week banners.

She is pictured above (in her Jooly's Joint t-shirt!) with Arf and Anglia Railways' Norwich station team member, Debbie Gilroy.

The trip was also a fact-finding mission as Sandie is currently writing a book about the standard of access for people with disabilities on the region's public transport facilities.

Sandie, who lives in East Dereham, Norfolk, was diagnosed with MS in '01 and has been campaigning to raise awareness of the condition the past six months. She said, "I am very grateful to Anglia Railways for the help and support they have offered me."

Kerri Howard, Anglia Railways' Communications Manager, said, "We were only too pleased to offer Sandie our support for her campaign and co-operate with her research into disabled facilities on the region's public transport. As a train operator committed to providing high standards of disabled access and facilities, Anglia Railways welcomes customers with restricted mobility or other special needs."

When asked what she thought of London, Sandie replied, "It was blinking freezing! I had to kiss my Arf to resuscitate him!"

Clearly having found a taste for adventure, Sandie added "We're thinking about next year's London Marathon with Arf pushing me most of the way in my decked out wheelie! Think BIG! Isn't that what it's all about??!"

Anglia Railways

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