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Volunteers dedicated to making Kidsgrove Station one of the most attractive stations in Staffordshire were thanked by East Midlands Trains today (7 June) during National Volunteers’ Week celebrations. Volunteers were joined by staff from the local Tesco store as part of their push to spruce up the station. They tidied, planted, weeded and general worked to maintain the station. Whilst making the place tidy for customers, they were be joined by East Midlands Trains Customer Services Manager, Jay Khetani who offered an extra special thank you to the volunteers. He presented each volunteer with a token box of ‘thank you’ chocolates in recognition of their contribution of time and commitment to their local community.
He said, “The reputation of our volunteers at Kidsgrove goes before them. In April this year passengers questioned during a survey, credited the volunteers for making the station so well presented and a haven for wildlife. "This group of Station Adopters are a fantastic example of what can be done with a little time and enthusiasm. We are so lucky and grateful to have them. “East Midlands Trains is already investing millions of pounds to make improvements to stations across the network, including refurbished waiting rooms and toilets, new shelters and better information. However, the improvements made by volunteers help to make customers more welcome when they arrive at the stations.”
Jay continued, ““I’d also like to take this opportunity to invite more people to get on board and join East Midlands Trains Station Adoption scheme. If you can spare a few hours on a regular basis, we’d love to have your support and hear from you.” Until 2008, the gardens at Kidsgrove station were overgrown and full of weeds. The volunteers have cut back the growth, weeded and replanted to return the gardens to their former glory. They continue to put in many hours weekly to keep the areas maintained and looking good for passengers. The volunteers at Kidsgrove have also spent many hours fundraising. They’ve raised over £1,000 for the gardens over 12 months and have won grants from Staffordshire County Council and Newcastle-under-Lyme Local Agenda 21 Fund. They’ve been helped along the way by North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership and organisations like the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Kidsgrove Day Services, Kidsgrove Rotary and of course the local Tesco store.
Sandra Bowyer, lead volunteer at Kidsgrove station, said: “The team at Kidsgrove are delighted to be-able to work together to make our station a lovely place that passengers enjoy using. By spending a few hours a week we’re able to make this station a centre of the community and a place that people are proud to travel to and from. But we couldn't do this alone, we've had so many generous donations from customers including shrubs, flowers and plants. One local resident even approached a volunteer and donated a £5 note, thanking them for everything they’d done. It's like everyone is one big community." The volunteers were joined by Tesco staff who were there to offer a helping hand as well as some much deserved refreshments. Richard Evans, Community Liaison Officer, Tesco Kidsgrove said, "We love to get involved in the activities arranged by the Kidsgrove volunteers. We help in whatever way we can, but usually by digging up weeds and planting some flowers, but also by providing cakes and drinks. "The volunteers have been incredible; they have transformed the station to make it a lovely place to visit. It shows the commitment this group has put into the project. I look forward to working with them more in the future." This year, Volunteers’ Week coincides with Stagecoach Group’s Green Week and the activities carried out by Station Adopters across the region go hand in hand. Volunteers carry out tasks using their green fingers and DIY skills - all to help make their local station environments greener, nicer places. Stagecoach’s annual Green Week aims to raise awareness of environmental issues among staff and passengers through a series of events. Stations host green giveaways, events are held in schools and staff are encouraged to take part in lunchtime walks and cycling events. Click here to visit our Station Adoption page