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Staff from East Midlands Trains joined regular volunteers today (Tuesday 4th June) at Blythe Bridge station on the Derby-Crewe route to say a big ‘Thank you’ for all their hard work over the last year.
As part of plans to celebrate Volunteers’ Week, staff from East Midlands helped volunteers with tasks including weeding, planting, litter picking and general tidying.
Josie Connolly, Customer Services Manager at East Midlands Trains also visited to offer an extra special thank you. She presented each volunteer with a token box of ‘thank you’ chocolates in recognition of their contribution of time and commitment to their local community. She said, “We are already investing millions of pounds to make improvements at our stations through refurbished waiting rooms and toilets, new shelters and better information. However, we know that our customers want to feel welcome when they arrive at one of our stations, and this is why Station Adopters are so important to us and the communities they serve.”
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.
North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership’s Officer Faye Lambert said, “So many of our stations in North Staffordshire look outstanding, indeed they are award-winning stations, and that’s thanks, in no small part, to our volunteers. We are fortunate to have a whole range of people of all ages and skills who, because they have pride in their local area, donate their spare time to help improve their station. Volunteers really do help us to make the stations as attractive as possible for our customers. I’m delighted that we can use Volunteer Week to give them these small mementos as a thank you for all of their hard work.
“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.”
Volunteering at Blythe Bridge is a family affair. The team at the station includes husband and wife Norah and Graham Stanier, who have been volunteering for six years to improve the station's gardens. They’re joined by their grand-daughter Becky Johnson, who although she works full-time, still finds the time to support her local station.
Norah said: "We all love gardening, so when the Community Rail Partnership was asking for help with the station, we signed up. Passengers give us lovely compliments about how much more welcoming the station feels. It's certainly a very rewarding activity."
Find out more information about Station Adoption here