Published on: Wednesday, 3 May 2023
Last updated: Wednesday, 3 May 2023
Above, left to right: Sacha and Paul, CoCoCare facilitators with members, Jamie, Claire, Courtney and Charlie . Credit: Essex and South Suffolk CRP
Thorpe-le-Soken rail station is set to become brighter and more welcoming – thanks to a team of volunteers.
CoCoCare – a vocational day service for adults with disabilities, based in Colchester - will work with Greater Anglia and the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership to transform the platforms with plants and artwork.
CoCoCare members will become ‘station adopters’ and get involved in activities to enhance the station on the Colchester – Clacton branch line.
They will also look after two flower tubs at Walton-on-the-Naze station to support the existing station adopters there.
Sacha Berjaoui, Facilitator at CoCoCare, said, “We're driven to be part of our local communities and as such are really pleased to be involved in adopting the local stations at Walton-on-the-Naze and Thorpe-le-Soken that are so important to linking our communities together.
“As part of our adoption plans we look forward to planting and maintaining pots, beds and borders, creating thought provoking and inspirational artwork and keeping the stations neat, tidy and welcoming places.
“We want people who use these stations to find their time there a pleasurable experience and we're really keen to get started and be a part of this fantastic initiative.”
Greater Anglia will provide funding to help cover the costs of small projects, tools and materials through its Station Adoption initiative and the group will also have the support of the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership which works to promote six branch lines in Essex and build mutually beneficial links with the community.
Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, said, “I’m delighted to welcome the new volunteers to the Station Adoption initiative and look forward to seeing their plans for the station come to life.”
Greater Anglia’s Station Adoption scheme enables individuals or groups to adopt their local railway station and contribute to its use and welfare for the benefit of their community.
Station adopters work with Greater Anglia to bring about improvements or care for gardens and floral displays to benefit local wildlife and make stations more welcoming.
Over the years, station adopters have played an active role in keeping stations looking good through inventive gardening projects, wildlife-friendly initiatives, creative community art projects, taking part in station ‘health checks’, being the eyes and ears of their station and encouraging links between the station and local communities.