Essex scout groups work with the railway to earn newly created badge

Published on: Wednesday, 26 June 2024
Last updated: Wednesday, 26 June 2024

Darren Griffiths, RailScape, and Alan Whyld, Greater Anglia's Station Manager at Shenfield station, gave a rail safety talk to the 3rd Hutton cubs and scouts

Above: Darren Griffiths, RailScape, and Alan Whyld, Greater Anglia's Station Manager at Shenfield station, gave a rail safety talk to the 3rd Hutton cubs and scouts. Credit: ESSCRP

Scouts and beavers in Essex are learning about the railway, thanks to a new community rail initiative which will see them earning a new ‘Platforms for Change’ badge.

The Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership (CRP), which works with Greater Anglia to keep rail branch lines and their communities thriving, is working with several scout and beaver groups in the county, as part of Community Rail Network’s ‘Platforms for Change’ initiative.

The groups will undertake different community-based activities such as painting, gardening, making bug/bird boxes and fundraising which will enhance their local station.

Each group is given a rail safety talk in preparation for a trip on a train to help build travel confidence and awareness.

As well as a ‘Platforms for Change’ badge specially designed for the programme, the groups can work towards other badges including gardening, volunteering, nature, photography, and writing.

So far scouts and beavers from nine local groups in Essex have helped at Alresford, Battlesbridge, Bures, Colchester, Hatfield Peverel, Manningtree, Marks Tey, Shenfield, and Witham, with activities such as making bird boxes or art, planting up flower tubs or learning about rail safety.

Essex and South Suffolk CRP Rail Engagement Manager, Jayne Sumner, said:

“We are delighted to be involved with the ‘Platforms for Change’ initiative - helping young people to build travel confidence, learn new skills and help to improve their community facilities is really important.

“We look forward to seeing the ideas of our groups of scouts and beavers come to fruition at rail stations in Essex over the next few months as they work towards earning the new badge.”

Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, said:

“This is a wonderful initiative and we are very grateful to the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership for the great work they are doing to put railways at the heart of the communities they serve, provide fun educational opportunities and create a sense of pride in young people for their local railway station.”

Karen Bennett, Community Rail Network’s Education, and youth engagement advisor, said:

“We are delighted Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership is taking part in the ‘Platform for Change’ initiative.

The programme aims to engage and empower Scout groups across Britain through community rail activity, station projects and rail confidence trips and we look forward to seeing what the young people can achieve!”