Brothers' Big Adventure with Thomas the Tank Engine

Credo Care and Nene Valley Railway collaborate to deliver dream for two brothers with special needs.

Thomas rolls into the station

Credo Care has delivered another incredible dream for its unique Dream Making initiative.

One of the amazing children placed with the fostering agency’s specialist carers is three-year-old L, who has Autism and lives with his carers Helen and Steve in Bedfordshire. L is mad about all things train-related, and especially Thomas the Tank Engine.

Thomas the tank engine

So Naomi, our Dream Maker, reached out to the Wansford-based Nene Valley Railway, home to a little blue steam engine named ‘Thomas’, created by Rev. W. Awdry, author of the famous books about Thomas and his friends. And on Sunday 19th May, L and his family met his two-year-old brother I, who lives with carers Louise and Ben in Leicestershire, and the families boarded a VIP compartment and rode behind Thomas from Wansford Station to Peterborough station.

At Peterborough, the train took a water stop and the brothers were invited to fill buckets of water to help replenish Thomas’s boiler. The families met the train driver, took pictures with him and the famous blue engine, and were gifted Thomas-themed goody bags. The group spent time exploring the model railway before boarding their carriage once more to return to Wansford Station. Instrumental in delivering this dream for L, and in providing a wonderful family day for his extended foster family, was Nene Valley Railway’s Locomotive Manager Paul Roe. Paul has been involved with the Neve Valley Railway for 30 years, and in his role looks after the drivers, firemen and other engine crews, as well as training the locomotive crews on how to drive and fire steam locomotives.

The fat controller

Paul was quick to offer L and his family VIP tickets to Thomas’s Big Adventure, an event hosted by the railway only once each year, which typically sells out months prior to the event: “We are extremely proud to be able to support the Dream Making project to make L’s dream come true.”

The Dream Making project aims to discover the dreams, interests, and wishes of Credo’s children in placement (and their wider families) and use this information to reach out to anyone who can make these dreams come true.

Naomi is thrilled to have delivered another dream, this time for a wonderful little boy who lives in the agency’s Eastern region: “When Helen and Steve’s social worker Michelle got in touch to tell me all about L and his passion for trains, I knew I had to approach the local living heritage railway of Nene Valley.”

“In my experience, the people who work and volunteer for heritage railways are generous and compassionate, simply hoping to share their passion for steam trains with their community and its visitors. This remained the case with the team at Nene Valley Railway, who so kindly hosted L and his extended foster family to make his dream of riding behind Thomas the Tank Engine come true.”

L’s foster carer Helen, was thrilled for her foster son: “We had a lovely day! L was very excited when he saw the trains and he loved the miniature railway too. The boys enjoyed the journey, especially as we had our own carriage. It was very busy when we disembarked for the water stop but they managed very well.”

Helen was grateful to Credo Care and the Dream Making initiative for arranging the day: “I’ve looked at booking an experience like this many times, but it is very popular and quickly gets fully booked!”

If you would like more information about this event or to learn more about Credo Care’s Dream Making initiative, please:

Carers with Credo Care can submit ideas and suggestions for their foster children’s dreams through our Credo Care Portal.