Region’s community ‘heroes’ recognised for station voluntary work

Monday, 16 October 2017

She tends to the station flowers, helps out with community rail events and was on hand to save the life of a suicidal person, quickly spotting that something was wrong and calling an ambulance when he became ill at the station.

Now Jacqui Dale, volunteer at Lowestoft rail station, has been recognised with an award by train operator Greater Anglia for her unfailing enthusiasm and commitment.

She beat 45 other nominees from across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire to win a Judge’s Special Award at Greater Anglia’s 2017 Adopter Awards, held at Ipswich Town Football Club today (Friday 13th October).

Greater Anglia’s Station Adoption initiative sees local people across the network get involved with their local stations to come up with ideas and projects that benefit their communities.

Steve Mitchell, Caroline Fisk, and Robert and Rosamund Webb’s efforts to win the backing of the local community to restore Wickham Market station house was crowned ‘Best Community Project’ while Beccles was named the region’s most improved station. Adopters Graham and Nicky Elliot and their team were praised for initiating several projects including working with the Broads Authority and their apprentices to install a welcome sign promoting the station as a gateway to the Broads National Park. They also transformed an overgrown area of the station, installing attractive flower displays to create a welcoming station entrance.

Many other community volunteers across the region were also recognised including Tom Hatrick in Trimley who won ‘Best Newcomer’ after stepping into the shoes of Betty and John Woollan, who retired last year, and working diligently to keep the station clean and tidy.

Also recognised were the team of volunteers at Thetford station who have installed bird boxes and feeders and a heritage board at the station working with the Scouts, Deborah Mann at Acle for her stunning hanging baskets, Robert Beadle, Ray Smith, Carole Grimes, Tim Drew, David Howlett and Steve Bennett at Cantley station which the judges described as the ‘jewel in the crown’ for its gardens and team commitment, and Ann Thompson and Pauline O’Connor for raising £400 for Macmillan Cancer Relief by holding a coffee morning at Reedham station.

Andrew Goodrum, Greater Anglia’s Customer Service Director, said: “Our station adopters are real community heroes who give so much time and 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.”