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Just a few weeks after being named East Midlands Trains Best Small Station 2015, Kidsgrove station has received further honours, thanks to the unstinting hard work of the Friends of Kidsgrove Station Gardens.
The Friends, all volunteers, have transformed the station’s extensive garden areas across all platforms. Their gardening prowess and creative ideas, combined with great support from the local community, has resulted in not just one but four awards from the RHS.
As well as being voted the Newcastle-under-Lyme In Bloom Community Garden (Gold) award winner, Kidsgrove station gardens were also voted the Overall Winner in this year’s Community Garden category.
Following recent judging by a Heart of England RHS ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ Community Garden assessor, Kidsgrove station received both the Community Award and was also given a Level 5 ‘Outstanding’– the highest award possible – in recognition of the environmentally-friendly gardens, a partnership project to achieve Access for All funding for the station, new community café A Spotter Tea and the volunteers’ work with local schools and businesses to improve the station.
The good news doesn’t end there: a number of the Kidsgrove station Friends were also awarded high accolades for their own gardens by Newcastle-under-Lyme In Bloom, including, for the 5th year in a row, a Gold award and Overall Winner for station volunteer Jan Ratcliffe.
Faye Lambert, Project Manager for North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership, which works with volunteers at stations along the Crewe-Stoke-Derby route to improve the customer experience for passengers, said: “The Kidsgrove volunteer team is a great example of how local pride can transform a station. The team’s enterprise, hard work and fantastic gardening skills have helped make Kidsgrove a real community station that is much more welcoming for passengers, something which is reflected in growing passenger numbers. Volunteers like Jan are an inspiration and we are very fortunate indeed to have their support for the North Staffordshire Line.”