George the Poet is “very passionate” about helping children experience “educational escapism”.

The spoken-word performer has been appointed ‘Culture Conductor’ with Avanti West Coast as part of the train company’s Feel Good Field Trips Campaign – which offers free school trips across its mainland route to 5,000 people - and admitted it is a cause that’s close to his heart.

He said: “Some of our most important learning experiences as children take place beyond the confines of the classroom. Having spent time as a youth worker, helping young people to access a healthy dose of educational escapism is something I’m very passionate about.

“That’s why I’m excited to help kick-start a project that will connect young people from a whole range of different backgrounds to exciting and enriching opportunities that they’ll always remember.”

To kick off the campaign, 10 Year 6 pupils from Ashbury Meadow Primary School joined George on board an Avanti West Coast train from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston, where they took part in a poetry workshop, later recording their spoken word piece at Camden’s Soho Sonic Studios.

George added: “I had a fantastic time working with the pupils from Ashbury Meadow Primary School; together we created a brand-new piece of spoken word art and took an in-depth look at the science of sound, the recording process and how technology has evolved.

“I’m thrilled that so many other kids will get the chance to enjoy this kind of hands-on, immersive experience as part of the Feel Good Field Trips campaign.”

The beginning of the campaign – which will run over the next two years – has also seen pupils from COOP Academy in Stoke-on-Trent enjoy a hands-on culinary day on Manchester’s Curry Mile, where they learned about the history of the famous food district before cooking their own vegetarian curry, and Year 7 children from King Edward VI Sheldon Heath Academy given a tour of Daniel Lismore’s exhibition, ‘Be Yourself: Everyone Else Is Already Taken’ at The Herbert in Coventry, before taking part in a creative workshop.

Avanti West Coast is working alongside Community Rail Partners from within the Community Rail Network, including Community Rail Lancashire, Heart of England and Rail 74 to deliver this campaign, with additional partners set to join the campaign during its two-year roll-out.

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