Hi everyone. We hope you’re keeping well. This week we have some important news on this year’s Community Rail Awards, as well as reminders for all our members on how you can make use of our support and draw on your Community Rail Network.
We want to remind you that we’re here to advise, support your development, and connect you (with each other and with relevant partners and expertise), as well as championing community rail and helping partners and policy makers to draw on its valuable insights. So do let our team know how we can assist, and please tell us how you’re making a difference, so we can keep sharing good practice and getting across the importance of community rail.
You can also access our main Covid-19 guidance for community rail whenever you need it.
News on this year’s Community Rail Awards
As you know, we previously decided to move the Community Rail Awards to 9 December, in the hope this would enable us to go ahead with a physical event this year. We knew many of you had fantastic achievements you wanted to enter, and we have been bowled over by the response, with nearly 200 entries. Thanks to everyone who’s put in so much effort.
While we will absolutely ensure that this year’s entrants and winners get the recognition they deserve, it has also become increasingly apparent that a physical event this year is just not feasible. After much deliberation, we have therefore taken the decision to hold this year’s event as our first ever online Community Rail Awards, still on 9 December. The physical event planned for 2020 in Southampton will be rescheduled to 2021, still with SWR and GWR’s crucial support, and this year’s winners will be recognised at both events.
We are now setting out exciting plans to make the 2020 online Awards the memorable celebration you all want and deserve, and to ensure that this is an inclusive event we can all enjoy. We will therefore be offering tech advice to those who need it, and encouraging (if allowed at this time) socially-distanced local celebrations. We hope you will understand the many reasons for this decision, and that you’ll join us in getting quite excited about our first online awards. This could well be the biggest Community Rail Awards we have ever seen, and of course we will be planning some suitable razzmatazz, while acknowledging the challenges faced by everyone this year. Put the date in your diaries and watch this space: lots more to come on this.
Supporting your success and development
We want to remind you of the support and assistance our members can access from us, as part of your membership. This includes:
- advice on running and developing your community rail partnership or station group and overcoming challenges – from your main support & development team contact;
- expertise on different aspects of community rail activity, from stations development, to volunteering, to tourism and marketing – from our team or using our resources;
- access to a wealth of good practice examples and ideas, and the option to connect with other members with experience to share – see our case studies and news, or ask your support & development contact;
- free places at members’ seminars, for now replaced with webinars – see our events;
- use of our Impact assessment tool and other resources – see below;
- signposting to partners and suppliers who can help in different ways, from HR advice, to insurance, to youth engagement, to active travel – ask your support & development contact or see our suppliers list.
Assess your impact
More and more of our members have been signing up to use our new Impact assessment tool – so far 12 CRPs and 13 station groups are making use of it. To remind, the tool is specifically designed for community rail partnerships and station groups, to provide a user-friendly way to collect evidence to help demonstrate your impact, and it’s free for all our members. It enables you to record what your group is doing (from your desk, home or when out and about), produce reports, and evaluate successes. Find out more through our FAQs and online guide. To request a log in, email email@example.com.
Keep safe and well,
Jools and Richard
While many of our usual activities are on hold, why not take the chance to review your communications and consider how you can use media to best effect. Sign up to our next two webinars:
- Engaging local media, 30 June, 14.30-15.45, with the Community Rail Network team and community rail examples – find out more and sign up
- Harnessing social media, 15 July, 14.30-15.45, with the Community Rail Network team and community rail examples – find out more and sign up
Look out for details of our next two webinars coming soon These will focus on ‘recovery and renewal’ and on the role of tourism in helping our communities to ‘build back better’. Further details and booking information to follow in the next few weeks.
News from our members
- Hampshire community rail group is first to have every station adopted
- Prestigious national charter mark sees community rail organisation come of age
- Esk Valley Railway produces face-coverings
- Reflections on the first year of The Secret Garden at Avonmouth Station
- Avanti West Coast hosts first community rail conference
- ScotRail unveils active travel carriage design
- Covid-19 recovery funding available for community groups (external site)