Henkel attends opening of school community train after donating products through their MIT programme

Adhesive Technologies donates LOCTITE, TEROSON & BONDERITE industrial products to unique community project

Commitment Industrial Adhesives Sustainability 7 Aug 2023

In 2022, Henkel donated LOCTITE, TEROSON and BONDERITE products to The Dales School in Northumberland, through the Make an Impact on Tomorrow (MIT) programme. The product donation was part of an initiative with Porterbrook and Network Rail to provide the children with a library and classroom, which will help the children to develop skills in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects, and teach the children about railway safety and instil confidence in them when using real trains in the future. This year, Henkel was invited back to the school for the official opening of the classroom and library.

Last year, Henkel customers, Porterbrook Leasing and Network Rail, donated a two-carriage pacer train with a train track, as well as a small station and a ticket office to the school for the children to role play in their learning. The Henkel products were applied to these two train carriages to prevent weathering, leaks and corrosion. Ultimately, making them a safe learning environment for the children.

Aside from donating the products, Henkel’s role has been to seal the roof, windows, and doors of the carriages, using LOCTITE, TEROSON and BONDERITE products. This will stop water ingress, to ensure they are waterproof and withstand the test of time by preventing corrosion.

The products are ‘white label’ products so non-hazardous and provide excellent sealing and bonding, as well as UV resistant. Adhesive is increasingly recognised as having better waterproof qualities over mechanical fastenings which are open to rusts and water ingress.

When Porterbrook asked us to get involved, we didn’t hesitate in saying yes. It’s been a very rewarding project and I’ve enjoyed visiting the school during the project, revisiting school dinners in the process!

“It was great to be at the official opening of the Dales’ School Train and see the children using the new facility. We are delighted to have played a role in the project and it’s great to know that the children will be able to enjoy the train, safe from the elements for many years to come,” he added.

The train celebrations ran from Monday 10 July to Wednesday 12 July, with the aim of thanking all the companies and communities that have helped with the project. On the opening days, guests were able to look around the train and use the resources set up in the library and STEM carriage, this includes the driver simulator, VR equipment, and the cause and reaction cab.

We are so grateful to Noel and his team from Henkel for the work they carried out on the train, they have been amazing. They were able to stop a lot of the leaks from damaging the books, causing the train to be unsafe. Henkel will always be a friend of the Dales school.

One of the students, Bradley (year 6, age 11) said, “When the train first came to the school, we could not use it because it was too wet and not safe inside. Now we can use it because of the volunteers who have come in to make the train safe. I love the train and get to take books home to read.”  

Just this academic year, the train has been used by 190 children which includes guest schools. The impact on the children has been really positive. For many children at the school, reading is seen as something challenging, and often associated with memories when they attended mainstream school. This causes children to become dysregulated [unable to control emotions].

Using the library carriage in the train, with a particular focus on reading for enjoyment, has meant it has engaged formerly hard to reach children. The train is seen as an exciting environment where children do not have the pressure of failing in reading. The school has been partaking in research for the Laurel Trust and has recorded numerous case studies. These case studies are demonstrating that children who previously refused to read, are now engaging in reading, so much so, some children have swapped picture books for story books. This is a massive leap to helping the children, as research indicates children who read for enjoyment are more likely to stay out of poverty.

The train has also been used to teach children how to travel safely on trains. This initially starts off using the onsite trains, starting on the platform (Donated by TEXO) to help students learn how to board a train. Then the children are introduced to the sights and sounds of the train by using the driving simulator. This helps introduce children who are highly sound sensitive to know what to expect on a real train. Northern Rail and Transpennine Express have also partnered with the school to help the children to travel on real trains. This is an important skill as train travel opens up more possibilities and drives social mobility.

The entire project has been based around building a community. The school have been supported by many local companies and larger companies like Porterbrook leasing, Texo, Network Rail, Morgan Sindall and of course, our very important team from Henkel. Thank you to all colleagues who were involved but especially Noel Forte for driving this initiative, along with colleagues Barry Lewis, John McCafferty and Mark Patterson.