Eighty-six-year-old Thomas Grindlay’s life-long dream to drive a steam train will come true on Saturday, 5 June, thanks to Manager of Resthaven Northern Community Services, Karen Hammond, who has planned a special day out like no other for Tom and his friends from his social support group program.
Every Thursday, Mr Grindlay joins a social group at Resthaven Northern Community Services, where clients enjoy a range of activities according to their own specific interests.
‘Tom and I have had many chats about his childhood dream to drive a steam train, and at his age, he thought that would remain an unfulfilled ambition,’ says Karen.
‘One day, Tom shared his childhood journals with me from when he was around ten years old, and they’re all about trains! I knew then that we had to try and make this happen for him.’
With the determination to make Mr Grindlay’s dream a reality, the team at Resthaven Northern Community Services contacted the National Rail Museum at 76 Lipson Street, Port Adelaide to see what they could do. Here, the National Railway Museum’s vast Australian Railway Collection is on view, including the steam locomotive, Peronne (1918 Andrew Barclay 0-6-0 Tank Locomotive).
‘We learned that members of the public are able to drive the ‘Peronne’ steam train! We couldn’t wait to tell Tom.’
At 1 pm on Saturday 5 June, Tom will drive the Peronne with his social group friends as passengers at the Port Dock. It will be a special outing for them all, as Tom’s wish to drive a steam train will come true.
‘He is over the moon and very excited – he is now on the lookout for some overalls to wear!’
Resthaven’s social group aims to keep people socially active to help maintain mental health and wellbeing, meeting people, going on outings, and enjoying activities with like-minded people.
Being socially isolated and lonely is a risk to people’s quality of life. Groups such as Tom’s build new friendships and opportunities to participate in outings such as this.
The team at Resthaven Northern Community Services, who have arranged the special day out, are also very excited. Stay tuned!
Established in 1935, Resthaven is a South Australian not-for-profit aged care community service associated with the Uniting Church in Australia.
Every day, Resthaven shares the lives and wisdom of older people and their carers, opening doors to the full range of aged care service options available.
Services are provided throughout metropolitan Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills, Murraylands, Riverland, Fleurieu Peninsula, lower Barossa region and the Limestone Coast of South Australia.