Published on: Thursday, 23 May 2019
Last updated: Thursday, 23 May 2019
A team of young people from the Southend area are helping to transform Prittlewell rail station in partnership with Greater Anglia.
They will unveil a new mural that they have painted on Friday 24th May at 12.30pm, with Sir David Amess MP in attendance.
The artwork is by pupils from Figure of Eight Education – an organisation which helps vulnerable children by offering an alternative education programme to help maximise their potential and build confidence.
The 8ft x 4ft painting is called ‘Riders’ and depicts cyclists. It will be positioned directly behind the cycle storage area, replacing the Southend seaside mural which is being relocated to platform 2.
The youngsters are also ‘adopting’ the station as part of Greater Anglia’s station adoption initiative and will be helping to make it more welcoming by planting and caring for some flower displays.
The project has been facilitated by the Southend Community Rail Partnership, of which Greater Anglia and Essex County Council are members, which works to improve the rail line between Wickford and Southend and benefit the communities it serves.
Partnership Officer, Lynda Stone, said, “We’ve been really impressed by the work produced by the young people at Figure of Eight Education and look forward to continuing to work with them as the station’s new adopters and hearing their ideas about how to improve the station further.”
Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s Community and Customer Engagement Manager, said, “I’m pleased to welcome these young people as the station’s new adopters and look forward to hearing their ideas.
“Our station adoption initiative now has 200 people across the network helping us to improve their local stations, putting them at the heart of the communities they serve.”
The station adoption scheme 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 inventive gardening projects, 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.