Heathrow Airport unveiled three freshly wrapped pods with a brand-new design.
The new designs for the pods were created by Heathrow Express’ charity partner, Pursuing Independent Paths (PIP) –a charity which helps adults with learning disabilities and autism, to find their voice and lead a life of their choice.
Last year, Heathrow Express organised for a group of adults from PIP, to travel from Paddington to Heathrow Airport. Arriving on the Heathrow Express, the aim of the day was to learn and experience the process of arriving at the airport and going through the process of getting on a flight. This journey can be stressful, scary, and unsettling for those with autism and could result in missed flights for individuals and their family.
Following the tour of the airport, the PIP team took a ride on the Heathrow pods, which transfer passengers to Terminal 5 in a driverless, electric vehicles in just six minutes. They were then given the challenge to draw a new design for the pods.
Design winner Pamela enjoyed her visit to the airport and was delighted to learn she had won the competition.
“I am so happy to be the winner of the Pod design and to be invited back to see it being showcased. The trip to the airport was fantastic and gave me the confidence to make changes in my life. I now have a job at Paddington Central as a welcome host.
Sarah Livingstone, lead training assessor, Heathrow Express said: “We are extremely proud of our partnership with the PIP charity.
“This year we wanted to do more and empower adults with learning disabilities and autism to gain new skills so they can explore new opportunities. Rather than going to them, we invited a group to take the Heathrow Express to the airport and help them and their families to achieve, what they thought was impossible –to go on a family holiday on a plane!
“We would like to thank Alex Reed from Heathrow Airport, for allowing us to decorate the pods and for making this day happen. The pods celebrate that the airport is open to all, and we are here to ensure you have a smooth journey and to be inclusive for everyone.
“We will continue to ensure the Heathrow Express and the airport is accessible for people with autism and learning disabilities through our partnership and by continuing to brief and train our staff.”