Translink has teamed up with The Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul to offer free family travel and attraction passes to selected families in need as part of its Little Explorers campaign.
Several local attractions have generously donated family activity passes so they can awaken their sense of adventure this summer by exploring fun sights, trips and trails across Northern Ireland.
Titanic Belfast, The Ulster American Folk Park, Strangford Bay Alpacas, Visit Derry, Dundonald Ice Bowl, Galgorm Castle Fairy Trail, The Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, and the Marble Arch Caves are all part of the initiative, to help provide families with the opportunity to discover these wonderful attractions.
This pilot initiative aims to give families in need the opportunity to enjoy a full day out together and a chance to enjoy visiting all that Northern Ireland has to offer.
Translink’s Chief Executive, Chris Conway thanked the charities and partners for getting behind the initiative:
“The cost-of-living crisis is impacting families in need now more than ever, and as the final weeks of summer count down, many families won’t have had the funds to enjoy a family day out, never mind a week-long holiday. By offering free family travel passes and partnering with local attractions across Northern Ireland, we hope that we can bring some excitement to a small number of families and young children through this pilot scheme and give them the chance to experience what Northern Ireland has to offer, whilst enjoying the excitement of the journey by bus or rail.”
Jacqui Wright, a Major at the Salvation Army added: “We’re really pleased to be involved with this scheme as we see first-hand the struggles families across Northern Ireland are facing to get by, never mind to carve out time to enjoy experiences together. We’ve worked with Translink for a number of years on the Stuff a Bus Christmas campaign, so it’s great to have the opportunity to work together again to really help families in need connect during these challenging times.”
St Vincent de Paul is also backing the initiative, Mary Waide, SVP Regional President for the North Region, says: “We are excited to receive these attraction passes from Translink. Everyone deserves a treat. Especially now with the continued struggles being imposed on families with the current cost of living crisis. A day out can provide a welcome opportunity to recharge and look after our mental health. This scheme means more than just a travel pass and entry into a local attraction, it will enable families to create memories and enjoy time together.”
For ideas on summer days out by bus or rail with your own Little Explorers you can visit www.translink.co.uk/daysout for all the latest things to do this summer or check out the Journey Planner app for up-to-date fares and timetables.