Rhiannon-Jane Raftery, our community rail development coordinator for Wales & Borders, gives an update on the Heart of Wales Line.
Richard Whiting, who only began working as the community rail officer for Heart of Wales Line Development Company in August 2021, has successfully steered the CRP to achieve their reaccreditation.
Taking this role was a total career and location change for Richard, who moved from an IT role and relocated from the West Midlands to Mid-Wales. In just under nine months, he has worked with the CRP chair, David Edwards, to restructure the partnership, creating its first steering group made up of representatives from community groups along the line. He has also developed and begun delivery on a new activity plan for the year.
Highlights of activities delivered so far include a wellbeing walk where Richard took a 98-year-old veteran who hadn’t been on the Heart of Wales Line for more than 70 years on the train for a day out meeting fellow veterans. He has also been busy engaging young people through a walking bus project, and is exploring options for developing a Heart of Wales Line Centre to provide a hub for communities and people who have connections with the line.
To use a cliché, Richard has definitely hit the ground running, and we look forward to seeing his new programme of activities progress.
For more information on the Heart of Wales Line, visit their website here.