It’s been great to see community rail adapting and continuing to engage your communities, especially on social media, in the past weeks. See below for a few examples, and let Nik know if you have others to share. You’ll also find out below how you can continue engaging with our events programme this year, despite face-to-face events being on hold, and drawing on our support.
Don’t forget, you can access our main advice on Covid-19 here, and please continue to keep up-to-date with government advice, follow it, and share with others.
Community Rail Awards open for entries
Now is a good time for community rail partnerships and station groups to be thinking about award entries. Our entry booklet is here, outlining categories and criteria, and the entry form is now open. If you wish, you can start filling in the basics and saving where you’re up to, but we encourage you to hang on before finalising entries to attend our first webinar, on ‘Writing a great awards entry’ (see below). Please also continue to be understanding of our rail industry partners having other, pressing priorities, which may mean they are unable to get directly involved in putting entries together at this time, so do lean on us as much as possible with your queries.
As announced last week, the awards night is now provisionally scheduled for Weds 9 Dec at the O2 Guildhall, Southampton, after our original October date became unviable due to rail industry emergency measures. We will keep the new date under review, but in the meantime, do proceed with your entries: whatever happens, they will still be considered!
Our summer members’ seminars (originally scheduled 30 June and 7 July in Oxford and York respectively) have been cancelled. We are therefore setting up a series of webinars so we can continue sharing ideas, expertise and good practice from across community rail and our wider partners. Booking details will be available soon, but to give you a flavour of the first few:
- 19 May: Writing a great Community Rail Awards entry, with Nicky Forsdike
- June / July (tbc): Engaging local media, with the Community Rail Network team
Annual planning and accreditation and meetings
We’ve started running our annual planning and accreditation meetings for community rail partnerships via video conferencing, and of course can provide the surrounding advice and help by phone and email. If your accreditation renewal, or annual planning meeting is due in the next few months, please get in touch with your usual contact in the support and development team (Paul, Dan, Brian or Rhiannon) to get yours booked.
Social media advice
It’s good to see so many community rail partnerships and groups making increased use of social media to engage and stay connected with local communities and partners. Whether you’re getting started, or want to brush up or gain new ideas, use our guidance sheets on social media and communications & marketing, and contact Nik if you’d like further support.
Do not travel messages
A reminder to please ensure your websites or social media feeds display a ‘do not travel’ message, making clear our railways are only for essential use at the moment. See the example at dcrp.org.uk.
Home learning and creative ideas
Our list of ideas, examples and resources for encouraging and supporting home learning and creative activities to do with community rail continues to grow: see the list and let us know what you’re doing.
Keep safe and well,
Jools and Richard