Greater Anglia recognises Norfolk and Suffolk’s community rail ‘heroes’ with awards

Published on: Friday, 21 October 2022
Last updated: Friday, 21 October 2022

Norfolk and Suffolk community hero's award

Above: Greater Anglia's station adopters at the awards event. Credit: Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia has recognised its volunteers in Norfolk and Suffolk who have been working to bring their local rail stations to the heart of their communities.

At the annual Station Adoption Awards ceremony Peter and Carol Lotarius received the Judges’ Special Award for their commitment to keeping Eccles Road station, near Attleborough, bright and welcoming, planting a large spring display of daffodils and a summer display of 40 tubs of begonias.

They are also working to restore the redundant phone box to house life-saving heart resuscitator equipment and create a wildlife area.

Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, said, “Peter and Carol’s dedication to the station in challenging circumstances is incredible. We are so grateful to them for everything they are achieving at Eccles Road – and their work is loved and appreciated by the community too.

“They are extremely deserving recipients of this award and I would like to thank them for everything they do to make the station welcoming for passengers and a real asset to the community.”

Tom Adams at Brundall station was Highly Commended for ‘Best Personal Contribution’ for his dedication to developing and maintaining the station garden for the community to enjoy, encouraging wildlife-friendly plants and getting the local primary school involved by inviting them to visit, plant flowers and see them grow, as well as arranging rail safety talks for the school.

Andy Richardson and Sheila Spedding were named ‘Best Adopter Group’ for their dedication to improving stations on the Norwich – Cambridge line, getting involved at Thetford, Brandon and Lakenheath and helping to transform them with attractive flower displays, as well as feeding back any faults or issues to Greater Anglia to ensure they are quickly rectified, keeping the facilities in good order for passengers.

Volunteers at Westerfield station, near Ipswich, won the ‘Community Involvement’ Award for their work to bring the station’s extensive wildlife garden to the heart of the community by holding a ‘Bee Awareness’ fete there in the summer, holding a bee-themed writing competition for local schools, involving the local Cubs group in creating a herb garden at the station for the whole community to use, and taking part in the area’s ‘Inspiring Angels Ipswich’ Christmas event by hanging decorated baubles along the platforms.

The ‘Friends of Thetford Station’ were Highly Commended in the ‘Environment and Innovation’ category for the wildlife garden they have created alongside the platform at Thetford station, their efforts to protect the town’s swifts and bats from habitat loss by installing nesting boxes on the old station building and the development of a fernery in the old customer toilet facilities.

Great Yarmouth was named ‘Best Staffed Station’ recognising the work of adopters, Rachel Harrison and Clare Southern to establish flower beds designed to withstand the county’s dry summer climate that have made the station more welcoming and help to encourage wildlife in an urban environment.

Brampton and Sheringham station adopters jointly received the Best Small Station Award, Brampton volunteers, Kim and Glyn Buck for creating beautiful floral displays all year round and Sheila McGinley at Sheringham for the huge difference she has made planting many flower tubs along the platform and her work to development a new station garden.

Trimley station, Suffolk, was Highly Commended in the ‘Most Improved Station’ category for the efforts of volunteer, Tom Hatrick, to create stunning planters on the platforms, maintaining a wildlife area and for cleaning up an old siding and planting shrubs there to create an attractive backdrop to the station.

Beccles station’s adopter team was Highly Commended in the ‘Best Medium Station’ category for their hard work that keeps the station looking stunning all year round.

Greater Anglia’s Station Adoption initiative sees people getting involved with their local rail station to help bring about improvements for their communities.

Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, said: “Our station adopters are real heroes who achieve amazing things to benefit their communities and make them better places to live with their enthusiasm to bring rural stations to life and restore their links to the communities they serve.

“The adopters know their stations and the needs of their community well and we are happy to support their aims through small grants and facilitating improvements.

“I am delighted that we can also recognise and thank them through the Adopter Awards - we’ve seen some fantastic and innovative projects this year and I would like to thank them all for their continued hard work.”

Community hero awards

Above: Peter and Carol Lotarius receiving their award from Greater Anglia's Head of Corporate Affairs, Jonathan Denby (right). Credit: Greater Anglia

Community hero awards

Above: Tom Adams, Brundall adopter (left) Greater Anglia's Head of Corporate Affairs, Jonathan Denby. Credit: Greater Anglia

Community hero awards

Above: Sandy Burn, one of Westerfield's station adopters in the station garden. Credit: Greater Anglia

Community hero awards

Above: Thetford station's adopter group receiving their Wildlife Friendly Stations Accreditation earlier this year. Credit: Greater Anglia