Community Rail News – 5 May 2020

Community Rail News – 5 May 2020

6 May, 2020

Hi everyone. We hope you’re keeping well and wish you a happy Deaf Awareness Week and National Walking Month! See below for more on this, plus community rail grant schemes, forthcoming webinars, and the day that would have been Community Rail in the City. We’re also encouraging you to join us in thinking forward, to post-Covid-19 recovery and rebuilding, and the role community rail will play.
Also scroll down for stories on how community rail is staying productive, and keep your examples coming to Nik for future bulletins. You can also see our updated Covid-19 advice here, and please keep up-to-date with government advice, follow it, and share with others.


Community rail grant funding

We’re pleased to announce that our Small Grants Fund (England) 20-21 is now open for bids, with £61k again available in total, for bids of up to £2,500 for community rail partnerships and up to £1,000 for station friends. The form, including criteria, is here. Don’t forget that the small grants funds we run on behalf of TfGM and SWR also remain open.
The Community Rail Development Fund, which we administer on behalf of the DfT, is confirmed as totalling £346k in 20-21. This will open for bids of up to £25k from accredited community rail partnerships in late May. We are looking at whether match-funding requirements could be relaxed.
With all funds, we will be considering whether projects can be delivered without conflicting with government advice. It may be that bids for promotional work will need to be put on hold. For any queries, contact your usual main support and development team contact.


Looking forward to recovery

We wanted to reassure you that we, like others, are thinking about Covid-19 recovery, and what community rail’s role will look like. We believe that the work you do, empowering local people, creating local pride and cohesion, and promoting sustainable living and development, will have never been more vital, especially to create an inclusive, climate-safe, caring recovery. While there are many uncertainties about people returning to public transport, there are also some silver linings to build on, such as less traffic and pollution, increased active travel, and people looking out for their neighbours.
We’re starting to discuss with government, rail, and third sector partners, how community rail can help in (re)building trust, positivity, supporting local economies, and creating a more sustainable and inclusive future. We’re interested in your views when you’re chatting to our team, plus look out for invitations to join this important conversation over the coming weeks.


Community Rail in the City day

Next Weds 13 May would have been the 10th Community Rail in the City, but as we can’t do the real thing, we will be holding virtual event looking at past highlights. We’ll be sharing photos and clips of memorable moments on social media, and we’d love you to get involved through Twitter and Facebook, reminding of great things you’ve done for Community Rail in the City, and highlights of your line. Make sure you use #communityrail and #railwayfamily, as well as making clear that the message for now remains #stayathome and #donottravel. We hope it will remind everyone of the great work community rail does and places to visit in the future. Let Alice know if you’ll be getting involved.


Upcoming webinars

There are still a few spaces left on the How to submit a good awards entry webinar on 19 May, with Nicky Forsdike. Find out more and sign up here. Bookings for the following two webinars open on 13 May. See next week’s bulletin for more details about these sessions on Engaging local media (30 June) and Harnessing social media (15 July), both 14.30-15.45.


Walk this May

Many community rail initiatives promote walking and enable more people to get out and about, for travel or leisure, alongside rail. Our friends at Living Streets, who organise National Walking Month, are clear that walking really is wonderful, for health, wellbeing, sustainability, and our communities. They have a great range of info and resources you can use to continue encouraging and celebrating (safe!) walking, this month and beyond.


Wellbeing at work

It’s so important at this time that we look after ourselves and each other, with the uncertainties surrounding us, and us all feeling cooped up. You might find the advice here  helpful, in ensuring you’re staying well while working from home, and in supporting colleagues, volunteers, partners and contacts. Let our team know if you have tips to share, or would like advice, or a chat!


NCVO – Involving volunteers during the pandemic webinar

NCVO have published a useful webinar on involving and supporting volunteers during the current pandemic, and an overview of the practical guidance and support available. The webinar is available to view on YouTube. NCVO also has a useful range of practical support and resources for volunteer organisations available on their website.

Keep safe and well,
Jools and Richard


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