COMMUNITY-spirited volunteers are encouraging residents to treasure their local train station.
Friends of the Shakespeare Line (FoSL) has launched the first community station partnership in the country. The partnership, funded by the Train Operating Company, local authorities, businesses and private donations, aims to enhance and run activities at railway stations along the Shakespeare line. The route from Birmingham Snow Hill to Stratford, spans 20 stations from market towns to inner city hubs. The volunteer-led organisation wants residents to adopt their railway stations and work with local enterprise to develop the stations as assets to the community.
Projects already underway include installing garden planters, station art and information boards.
There are also plans to arrange pop-ups at the stations for local enterprise and installations to celebrate local heritage.
FoSL has five trustees who volunteer their time to manage the partnership and attract funding to enable the work of over 70 volunteers or ‘adopters’.
Group spokesman Fraser Pithie said: “We want to create a local sense of pride and offer passengers and visitors a welcome at the stations that is reflective of the area they are visiting. Wellbeing and community spirit has never been more important to society and we are proud to have created this partnership that will provide a template for communities across the country to replicate. We are happy to share our template and operating documents and will be glad to help advise new volunteer groups”
West Midlands Railway spokeswoman Fay Easton added: “We are proud to support this energetic and visionary group of volunteers who give their time so generously to their communities. The work at our stations reflects local care and community investment and we are grateful for the volunteer work and efforts to help regenerate localities and make our passengers smile.”
Contact [email protected] for information on volunteering.