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Marika Latham started her new life as the North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership Officer (NSCRPO) in March.
Her job is to work with East Midlands Trains and London Midland to bring together rail partners and community groups from across the county to help build closer relations and improve the rail environment for all.
Before becoming the County’s CRPO, Marika ran her own business as a traditional Chinese medicine specialist and acupuncturist. Whilst still practicing acupuncture, she enrolled to be a station adopter at East Midlands Trains’ Uttoxeter station so has already shown her dedication to the railways.
Marika now gets stuck in to help promote the North Staffordshire Line by organising events with partners along the route including local schools and community groups.
Marika says of her new role: “Working on the North Staffordshire Line at 11 different stations between Derby and Crewe has been a real challenge but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
“I really enjoy supporting our volunteers along the line at stations including Alsager, Kidsgrove, Longport, Longton, Blythe Bridge and Tutbury & Hatton. They do such great work at the stations. One of my main priorities now is to meet with and support the station adopter groups and recruit even more.
“I also work with the stakeholder and stations teams at East Midlands Trains to ensure we are all on the same page on how to promote and maintain the North Staffordshire Line.
”Donna Adams, Stakeholder and Community Rail Manager at East Midlands Trains, said: “We are delighted to welcome Marika on to the North Staffordshire community Line and have already seen her at work engaging with the communities we serve up and down the route.
“I’m sure Marika will have a real impact as Community Rail Partnership Officer and work alongside our ever-growing local teams of station adopters across the route. We’re looking forward to a long and productive partnership.”
Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for Economic Growth, said: “Staffordshire’s economic success is underpinned by its infrastructure and the strength of our future development will be built on its continued improvement.
“The Crewe-to-Derby rail line plays a crucial role in moving people and goods and I wish Marika well in her important role.
”Anybody interested in finding out more about East Midlands Trains’ Station Adopter scheme should visit eastmidlandstrains.co.uk and then search “Station Adopter”.