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In a snap survey of passengers using Kidsgrove station, 100% say the station is now a better place to travel by train thanks to the work of station volunteers.
The survey, carried out by the North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership (NSCRP), which works to promote and develop the Crewe-Stoke-Derby route, sought responses from a sample of 20 passengers over a half-hour period. 100% rated Kidsgrove station now a ‘nicer place to travel by train’.
Passengers were also asked how much they thought the work of volunteers had improved the appearance of the station: the majority said it had contributed a 100% improvement.
The NSCRP carried out the survey to help illustrate the value of volunteers on the route in helping to maintain the environment of stations.
Until recently, 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.
Faye Lambert, Project Officer for the NSCRP, said: “We are fortunate to have excellent volunteer support at all stations on the route. Station adoption volunteers undoubtedly add value to our work. We work with the train operator East Midlands Trains to raise the funds for the ‘big ticket’ items like waiting facilities, customer information screens and CCTV, and then the volunteers, by maintaining the look of the station, represent the local community in action as the station’s custodians.”
The survey also brought very positive comments about the volunteers, including:
Faye continued: “Not only have the volunteers transformed the station gardens, they’ve also been crucial in helping us to engage the support of the community. They’ve raised over £1,000 for the gardens in the past year, winning grants from Staffordshire County Council and Newcastle-under-Lyme Local Agenda 21 Fund. “Agencies like Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Kidsgrove Day Services, Kidsgrove Rotary and the local TESCO store have all pitched in to help the volunteers make a difference.
“One of the team also works with St Thomas’ Primary School and has brought the children on board to maintain the garden planters at the station entrance. All have volunteered to help improve the station and deserve a huge thank you.”
Sandra Bowyer, lead volunteer at Kidsgrove station, said: “We’re all thrilled to receive such positive comments and proud to be supporting our local station. However, we couldn’t have done it without great community support; everyone from residents to garden centres have contributed through donations of plants and funds. They’ve made volunteering a pleasure.”
Jonny Wiseman, Route Manager for East Midlands Trains, said; “The positive comments received from customers using Kidsgrove are a clear demonstration of the hard work of the station volunteers. We are lucky to have such a devoted team at Kidsgrove and their work is clearly making a big difference to the local community.”