Volunteers Celebrate 10 Years Supporting their Local Railway

Friday, 21 June 2013

Abellio train operator, Greater Anglia and community volunteers came together on Friday 21 June, to celebrate 10 years of support for a local rail station adopter scheme which enables individuals or groups to adopt their local railway station and contribute to its use and welfare, for the benefit of all.

Volunteers from Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire enjoyed a celebratory reception in Norwich and got the chance to share ideas and initiatives which have been successful at their stations.

The scheme was originally created to improve lines of communication between the train operator and station users however, over the years it has grown to become much more, with station adopters now playing an active role in keeping stations looking good through inventive gardening projects, creative community art projects, taking part in station ‘health checks’ or being the eyes and ears of their station.  Adopters have been an integral part of raising money for projects such as improved waiting facilities or the development of beautiful station gardens.

Volunteers come from all walks of life and come either as a group or as individuals but one thing they’ve all got in common is the idea that their station is fundamental to their community. The work they put into making the station looking wonderful and the care they give is for the benefit for all who use the stations.

Jane Bothwell and Judy Kane are part of a group who have been official adopters of West Runton for 10 years but actively involved in looking after the station for much longer. Jane, Judy and other local volunteers Sandra Brown and Mike Goodwin, are very passionate about the work they do which includes fundraising, gardening and keeping the station looking loved and cared for.

Jane said:

“I work as part of a team of local volunteers who have worked hard for many years to make West Runton station part of our local community. We are very proud of what we do. For us, adopting our local station is all about the pleasure a looked after station gives to local people and visitors”.

Greater Anglia Partnerships manager Geraint Hughes said:

“Some of the more rural stations in East Anglia are unmanned so the work of volunteers is vital for maintaining a friendly and welcoming environment for everyone who uses the station. The commitment of our volunteers is astounding, many have made their local station a wonderful, picturesque little hub of activity for their local community which we are very grateful for.

Every year we host a regional awards ceremony for our station adopters which is in recognition of all the hard work that they as volunteers and community groups do. This year we have 10 successful years to celebrate too.”

The station adopter scheme continues to go from strength to strength, engaging the local community with their station and giving them the opportunity to make a difference to a place that is used by and for the benefit of all.