Rail initiative invites people in Chelmsford to get involved with station improvements

Published on: Wednesday, 31 August 2022
Last updated: Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Community volunteers are being sought to help drive improvements at Chelmsford station and help make it more welcoming to passengers by “adopting” the station

The Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership, in partnership with Greater Anglia, would like to hear from green-fingered local people who would be interested in helping to install and maintain floral planters at the station.

Greater Anglia provides funding to help cover the costs of small projects, tools and materials to help improve the station environment through its Station Adoption initiative.

Jayne Sumner, Rail Engagement Manager at the Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership, said, “We are looking for individuals or a group of volunteers who can spare an hour or so a week to bring some colour and life to the station through pollinator friendly planting schemes which will help our local environment as well as creating a nice welcome for station users.”

Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, Alan Neville, who runs the station adoption initiative said, “It makes such a positive difference when the community is actively involved in their local station.

“Station adoption creates mutually beneficial relationships and dialogue to help us understand what improvements are important to local people, and promotes civic pride and wellbeing by bringing people together and enhancing public spaces.”

Anyone interested in adopting their station should contact [email protected]

The station adoption initiative started in 2003 and enables individuals or groups to adopt their local railway station and contribute to its presentation and welfare for the benefit of the local community.

The voluntary 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 gardening projects that create an attractive welcome and support local wildlife and biodiversity, creative community art projects, taking part in station ‘health checks’ or being the eyes and ears of their station.

Over the years, station adopters have also played a key role in raising money for new initiatives, such as improved waiting facilities or planting beautiful station gardens.

Greater Anglia now has over 290 adopters at over 117 stations across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.