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The High Sheriff of Northamptonshire, Dr Ahmed Ibrahim Mukhtar, will be joining Dan Eustace, Customer Experience Manager for East Midlands Trains and members of the Kettering Civic Society, to officially open the new Civic Society Room on platform 1 at Kettering station on Friday 26 February.
The new Civic Society Room, named “Time Travellers”, has been provided to Kettering Civic Society by East Midlands Trains as part of its community engagement activity.
The Kettering Civic Society, which is a voluntary organisation with charitable status, was formed in 1969 and has a long history of working in partnership with Kettering station.
As part of the official opening, there will also be a public acknowledgement and thank you to a team of Princes Trust Students, who have been carrying out work to improve the station gardens on a voluntary basis.
In 1979 Kettering Civic Society won a Civic Trust Award for work on the station gardens and 37 years later Princes Trust students work on the same garden. The Civic Society contacted Tresham College Mark Williams, Team Leader of the Princes Trust to ask whether students would be prepared to make a garden, restore a mail cart and provide a planting display at the station. Students were delighted to take up the very challenging heavy work planning their project and spending time raising funds by bag packing at Asda to help pay for materials. They spent 10 days creating the garden and didn’t give up when the weather was cold and rainy.
This formed the Teams Community Project, an essential part of their 12 week personal development Team programme whereby the learners gain new skills to better prepare them for the world of work.
Dan Eustace, Customer Experience Manager for East Midlands Trains, said: “We have worked closely with the Civic Society for many years and we are very supportive of their work to promote the local area. We will continue to work with the society and with the Princes Trust to have more community activity at the station, including offering career advice and work experience opportunities as well as giving students the chances to work with us on environmental and conservation projects.
“We’re really pleased to have been able to provide this room to the Kettering Civic Society as part of our community work, and we’re sure they will be a great addition to the station.
“On behalf of East Midlands Trains and the Civic Society, I would also like to pass on thanks to our fantastic team of Princes Trust volunteers whose hard work has helped to transform the station”.
The Time Travellers Room will be used for exhibitions and there will be an information point providing information to promote the county and the town.
Monica Özdemir, Secretary of the Kettering Civic Society, said: “We have for many years been looking for a base to give the Civic Society a ‘face’ in the community and to fulfil our objectives. We were delighted when East Midlands Trains offered us the use of this room at the station, and it will become a great base for the society.
“We’re certain that we will get some good use out of our new facility, and as more new
volunteers join in and the projects that will be undertaken under the Heritage Lottery bid will be the start. The room will also form a good fundraising base aiming towards installing the Kettering Mosaic on the Newlands Shopping Centre above the car park entrance, an area of the town to be regenerated.”