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Celebrating Outstanding Achievementin Community RailWinnersAwards presented during an online eventWednesday 9 December 2020Booklet sponsored byHeadline SponsorshipKey Supporters

CongratulationsCongratulations from theCommunity Rail Network!Despite the trials and tribulations of 2020, our Community Rail Award winnersthis year are as inspiring as ever. This booklet showcases an array of initiativesby community rail partnerships, station friends, community stations, andrailway partners across Britain – many adapted or conceived specifically torise to the challenges of Covid-19. They show how adaptable, innovative, andcommitted everyone working and volunteering in community rail is, and howvaluable community rail will continue to be, in negotiating these difficult times,and building back better.The work recognised here is wide-ranging, from youth engagement, to writingand music projects, to helping people (re)discover rail as a form of sustainabletravel. It’s all about connecting people with their railways and stations, creatinga sense of positivity and ownership, and bringing people together with therailway as a focal point. That couldn’t be more important at the moment.A wonderful, common thread running through many of this year’s winners isstory-telling, through arts and creative projects, discovering local histories, andhelping people to work through thoughts, feelings, and mobility barriers.This booklet shows how this powerful area of work can help us better understandour communities, promote wellbeing and cohesion, create more equitable accessto opportunity, and enable more people to access sustainable travel.We look forward to sharing these brilliant examples far and wide, andcontinuing to support our members to keep flourishing and supportingtheir communities into 2021.Our congratulations go to all whose efforts are recognised in this booklet,and everyone involved in the community rail movement.Jools Townsend, chief executive, Community Rail Rail

Involving Children and Young Peoplesponsored by GrandCentral RailwayFirstKent Community RailPartnership and SheppeyCollege – A Chance to ShineConcept and aimsKent Community Rail Partnership and SheppeyCollege wanted to work together to provideopportunities for students to get involved in arange of community projects. The main aim ofA Chance to Shine was to empower students toshowcase their talents, boosting self-esteem,providing real-life experiences, and helping buildportfolios to enhance employment prospects.The community rail partnership were also keen toengage with the students to promote rail as safe,healthy, and sustainable travel, and to get theirviews on how the SwaleRail Line, which runs fromSittingbourne to Sheerness-on-Sea, could beimproved for young people and all sections of localcommunities, encouraging increased passenger use.What happenedTo introduce them to the projects, 250 students –some of whom had never travelled by rail before oreven left the Isle of Sheppey – were taken on the trainto stations on the SwaleRail Line. Alongside informationon how to travel confidently and independently, they weretasked with looking at issues at the stations and identifyingpotential improvements. To complement their own ideas,students asked passengers and local residents what theywanted to see at the stations, with the results fed back tothe partnership and the train operator, Southeastern.ResultsDifferent student groups produced work greatly enhancingthe SwaleRail Line and the communities it serves. IT students built a SwaleRail website listing things to doand places to visit along the line. They also created apromotional video to support tourism, information postersdetailing the history of the line and its stations, and ‘PopArt’depicting a series of images along the route; Business students designed surveys and interviewedpassengers, and created a range of posters for stationsraising awareness on key issues including equality,addiction, mental health, and train etiquette; Construction, landscaping, and multi-trade studentshelped to improve station environments for passengersand communities by building and installing new benches,planters, and birdboxes, and creating floral displays.Local councillors, the community rail partnership, and thecollege – which has now formally adopted all five stationson the line – praised the projects, noting that by takingownership and responsibility, students developed teamwork,communication, and creative skills, showed increased levels ofconfidence and self-esteem, and developed a greater sense ofappreciation for their communities and for rail travel.Some students have gone on to complete work experienceplacements with Southeastern, and their achievements werealso recognised by being named Kent Young Volunteers of theYear for 2019.

Involving Children and Young Peoplesponsored by GrandSecondCentral RailwayFriends of Buxton Stationfor Mini-Saga ChallengesThe Friends of Buxton Station (FoBS) became concerned about the mentalhealth and wellbeing of young people in their local communities duringthe government’s first Covid-19 lockdown.With the aim of keeping positive thoughts alive, the group issued aninnovative and creative writing challenge, asking young people to use themini-saga concept to write imaginative and happy stories in exactly 50words, taking their minds off any thoughts of negativity or confinement.Using the title ‘It happened at Buxton Station’, they contacted BuxtonJunior School and encouraged pupils who were being home-schooledto enter. The three winning entries received family rail passes courtesyof Northern, and were featured in local media.FoBS then decided to use National Volunteers Week in June to expandthe project to encompass volunteers across the wider community railmovement, asking people to create stories using the titles, “This is whatcommunity rail is all about”, or “Heart of the community”. The challengereceived an enthusiastic response, with many station adopters sharinginspiring and uplifting experiences that allowed people to reconnectand interact in a positive way.ThirdCommunity RailLancashire forTicket to PrideTicket to Pride, a joint project between CommunityRail Lancashire (CRL) and the Proud Trust, focusedon tackling anti-LGBT hate crime on the railnetwork, aiming to ensure that young people fromall groups and backgrounds could travel safely.The project’s aims were to ‘prevent, educate, andenforce’, via a series of elements devised and created byyoung LGBT people themselves. This included a postercampaign, now on display at 40 Northern stations,encouraging people not to be bystanders if they witnessedhate crime, and a public art trail, taking in 14 stations acrossthe North West, raising the positive visibility of LGBT people and promoting community cohesion.but also addressedisolation andloneliness issuesthat many youngpeople, especiallyfrom marginalisedgroups, may face.Young people also benefitted from rail journeys to increasetheir travel confidence, and education sessions focused onhow to safely support each other and report hate crimesafely in partnership with the British Transport Police.These sessions not only broadened their travel skills,The project receivedextensive coverage in local media,and CRL were also invited to participate in a Departmentfor Transport LGBT and Allies Network event as arecognised national expert group.

Involving Diverse Groupssponsored by LNERFirstTyne ValleyCommunityRail Partnershipfor Lyric and LineConcept and aimsMusic has the power to engage people; that is the simpleconcept behind Lyric and Line.Singer-songwriter Gareth Davies-Jones approached TyneValley Community Rail Partnership (TVCRP) with a proposalto use songs to facilitate various community views of railtravel. For some time, the partnership had been exploringdifferent ways of identifying and understanding barriers torail use, particularly among groups with additional needs.They wanted to find a way to engage people in moredepth, seeing the railway through their eyes.What happenedGareth focused on three groups, who despite being familiarwith the partnership’s work, did not habitually use the train.Over three months, he built relationships with Gibside SENDSchool in Gateshead, who regularly took part in TVCRP'seducation programme, Journey Enterprises, a charity foradults with learning difficulties who run the coffee kiosk atHexham Station, and Zig Zag, a group for adults experiencingsocial isolation.Gareth ran song writing sessions with the groups, bringingout their views on rail travel through music. Each one wroteand recorded an original song, identifying their challenges inusing the train and the joys of rail travel.Gibside School pupils spoke of the railway as ‘an adventure’,while Journey focused on the practicalities of travel. Zig Zag,who had the most experience of rail travel as a group,highlighted that using ticket machines, a fear of buying thewrong ticket, and worries over toilets and the height of trainsteps were all barriers to their rail use. However, they were alsoclear that if you get it right, rail travel can be ‘the best way tounderstand the world.’ResultsEach group was able to record an initial version of theirsong just before the beginning of the first Covid-19lockdown. TVCRP had planned to promote the work atvarious events, but instead, hosted an online Zoom sessionin which Gareth explained the project and played the songs,to overwhelmingly positive comments. The partnershipnow plans to package this session as a webinar on itsredesigned website.Gaining valuable insights into the views of the three groupshas enabled TVCRP to set specific working objectives toreduce barriers to travel and build on the excitement thatLyric and Line has created. The project had an immediateimpact with Journey, who took a group on the line for thefirst time in March 2020.

Involving Diverse Groupssponsored by LNERSecondCommunity RailLancashire forFrom Seats to SacksFrom Seats to Sacks aimed to reduce social isolationamongst female Muslim ex-offenders by bringing themtogether to transform used railway moquette into storysacks, giving community rail partnerships across theNorth a new literary resource to encourage engagementwith local primary schools.Community Rail Lancashire worked with members ofthe Muslim Women in Prison Project to organise sewingsessions. The women, at-risk of being ostracised andvulnerable following their release, not only learnt new skills,but forged friendships, increased their self-esteem, andgained railway confidence via a trip to the National RailwayMuseum in York. For one, it was the first time she had leftthe house with her family for seven years, while anothersaid being involved had helped her to “open closed doors.”ThirdThe sacks, which were filledwith goodies and a copy of theStay Safe with Thomas book,were launched at a media eventlast Autumn and distributed tocommunity rail partnershipsand station adoption groups.They have been praised as an“invaluable aid” in engagingyoung children, with an“inspiring” background story.Southeast Communities Rail Partnership, Govia ThameslinkRailway, County Care, and the Aldingbourne Trust forGood to Talk, Even Better to ShareSoutheast Communities Rail Partnership (SCRP) and GoviaThameslink Railway (GTR) realised that the first Covid-19lockdown presented challenges to voluntary groups withadditional needs and learning disabilities who engagedregularly with the railway. These included County Care, whoare involved in station gardening, ‘Try the Train’ trips, andother accessibility projects, and the Aldingbourne Trust, acharity supporting people with learning disabilities andautism whose members travel independently by train tosupport station projects.SCRP officers and GTRcontacted the groups’support workers, as theyknew members would bestruggling due to the banon travel, resulting in socialisolation and anxiety at aloss of routine. Knowingthat railways were a hugepart of their lives, theydevised a range ofaccessible and interactive online activities tokeep the groups informed and engaged, letting them knowthey hadn’t been forgotten.The partnership createdWhatsApp groups andFacebook pages, held quizzes,ran ‘Guess the Station’ photocompetitions, and ensured thatgroup members stayed intouch. They also shared videosand photographs of stationstaff at work, e.g. tending toplants, so members still feltpart of projects and werecomforted that their hard workhad not gone to waste.

Community Art Schemes Permanent and Largersponsored by AbellioFirstCommunity Rail Lancashire for HorizonsConcept and aimsThis project was born when Community Rail Lancashire(CRL) began working with the Carlton Junior and InfantSchool in Dewsbury, whose pupils rarely engaged withthe railway and in many cases, had never been on a trainbefore. The school’s headteacher was keen for this tochange, and for pupils to embrace opportunites to raisetheir aspirations and ambitions.Pupils from the school’s art club wanted to create a pieceof artwork that reflected the town and its diversity, andwould give the Grade-II listed station a more welcomingenvironment and community feel.What happenedLocal artist Candida Wood spent ten weeks with the art club,working with pupils on a David Hockney inspired mural.The children decided which important landmarks should beincluded to reflect Dewsbury and its communities, choosinga train and viaduct, countryside, the town’s famous mills, andboth a church and mosque.One pupil said he wanted the piece to ‘put Dewsbury onthe map’, resulting in the idea of pointing an arrow from therunning board to a globe. After members of the schoolcommunity had painted the mural, an image was printed forthe station, with the original put on display at the school.Aside from the artwork, more than 200 hundred pupils fromthe school took part in railway education sessions, with classestravelling to Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, and York, duringwhich they learnt how to buy a ticket, where to waiton the platform, and how to behave onthe train.Children also took part in sessions where they learnt about railsafety, careers in the industry, and explored opportunities ofusing the railway to commute to other cities in the North.Parents were engaged too, learning about family and friendrailcards, the dangers of trespassing, and potential careers in rail.ResultsThe mural’s title reflects a deeper understanding of life, travel,and future opportunities gained by the children involved in theproject, using rail to broaden their Horizons. The artwork hasalso given the children an enormous sense of pride, and afeeling of ownership over their local station.The eye-catching mural, which was supported by TransPennineExpress, has helped to raise the profile of the station andDewsbury as a town, signified at a grand opening eventattended by local MPs, the Mayor of Kirklees, local councillors,and the Deputy Lieutenant to the Queen. The children werehailed as a “credit to their community”, with the mural perfectly“portraying their ethos, values, and diversity.”

Community Art Schemes Permanent and Largersponsored by AbellioSecondThe Lightbox and SouthWestern Railway forWe All Have a Happy Place –For Us it's Woking StationThe Lightbox, a charity devotedto promoting community wellbeingthrough art, approached South Western Railway (SWR) with an ambitious projectto create standout displays on the footbridge at Woking Station. The aim was toraise awareness of the charity’s work, and promote the notion among passengersand visitors that art has the power to make you feel good.With SWR providing funding towards the project, 12 posters wereinstalled to add colour and vibrancy to what was a previously“uninspiring” space, featuring uplifting messages promoting positivethinking and wellbeing, such as, “We all have a happy place – where isyours?”, and “When was the last time you took a moment for you?”The artwork instantly improved the look and feel of the footbridge,clearly communicating messages of mindfulness to passengers usingone of SWR’s largest stations. The pieces were well-received by stationstaff and passengers alike, and SWR has shared the replicable conceptwith other community groups on its network. The project alsosupported and aligned with SWR's efforts to reduce suicides at thestation, which had been identified as an area of high concern.ThirdEast Hampshire Community RailPartnership for Liss Station VinylsThe Victorian buildings at Liss Station were demolished in the 1970s, and localresidents had long yearned for the current station to better reflect its railwayhistory and place within the community. The aspiration was to make theinterior of the station seem less drab and industrial by creating somethingvisually attractive to passengers with a welcoming community feel.East Hampshire Community Rail Partnership worked with local stakeholders,including the South Downs National Park and Liss Historical Society, todramatically transform grey aluminium panels within the station booking hall,adding a series of brightly-coloured and informative vinyls. The boards displaybreathtaking views of the South Downs countryside and images of Liss Villageover the last 125 years. The enhancements also prompted Liss Model RailwaySociety to install a working model of the historic Longmoor Military Railwayin the station building, creating much local and visitor interest.The vinyls have been extremely well-received, with residents stating theyreflect the location and history of Liss and help to integrate the station with thevillage. Based on the positive reaction, the community rail partnership is nowconsidering further displays to enhance other areas of the station.

Community Art Schemes Renewable & Smallersponsored by TransportFirstfor Greater ManchesterTrack Record Arts andSevernside CommunityRail Partnership forTrackRecord – The Soundtrackto the Severn Beach LineConcept and aimsTrack Record came about due to the fondness that local Bristolpoets and musicians Eyebrow and The Spoke had for the SevernBeach Line. They wanted to fuse music with the written word tocreate a soundtrack for the line that passengers could downloadand enjoy while making their journey.Supported by the Severnside Community Rail Partnership, themain aims were to celebrate the line, provide an enriched travelexperience for regular passengers, and attract new visitors tothe area to enjoy the lower Severn Vales.What happenedThe artists used the stops on the line to divide ambient jazzmusic into eleven tracks, layered together with eighteen poemsinspired by history, with themes including urban, suburban,industrial, post-industrial, rural, picturesque, homespun, andspectacular.The poetry was informed by a series of creative writingworkshops held in communities along the line, identified as areasof restricted cultural opportunity. Participants used the sessionsto share memories of the line and describe how the stations andthe journey had evolved over time. The workshops fostered newconnections between the people involved and their local railway,and built their confidence in writing for enjoyment.ResultsThe launch of the project saw two sold-out journeys of theline, with 120 passengers enjoying an innovative ‘silent disco’,listening to the soundtrack through headphones.One participant described the experience as “evocative,thought-provoking, and different”, while another said thejourney had been “enchanting, educational and charming.”The afternoon culminated in an extremely well-receivedperformance of the full soundtrack to an audience of around500 people at the Severn Vale Festival.A book of the poems and a CD were released in September2019, and an initial run of 500 copies quickly sold out. Thesoundtrack was then made available as a free download fromthe Track Record Arts website for people to access via their owndevices as the

Awards presented during an online event Wednesday 9 December 2020 W W i i n n e e r r s s Headline Sponsorship Key Supporters Booklet sponsored by. Congratulations from the Community Rail Network! CC oo nn gg rr a a t t u ul l a a t t i i oo nn s s Despite the trials and tribulations of 2020, our Community Rail Award winners this year are as inspiring as ever. This booklet showcases an .

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