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Suffolk New College adopts Ipswich Station to offer student outreach projects

Students can look forward to a host of unique extra-curricular learning opportunities after Suffolk New College teamed up with the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership to officially adopt Ipswich Station.

Greater Anglia’s station adoption scheme sees people getting involved with their local rail station for the benefit of their communities, working with the train operator to bring about improvements or caring for gardens and floral displays to benefit local wildlife and make stations more welcoming.

The new agreement will allow college students to get involved in all sorts of different projects – from art installations to work experience – thanks to help from the East Suffolk Lines CRP, who facilitated the link.

This is the first time an entire college has adopted a rail station in East Anglia.

Claire Kendall, officer of the East Suffolk Lines CRP, said: “I’m delighted that by working together we are going to help boost the educational experience of so many young people and give them some excellent opportunities to learn about the railway, get involved in art or STEM projects, and perhaps even work experience opportunities. Who knows where it will take them in the future?”

Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s customer and community engagement manager, said: “This is a great community initiative which has the potential to bring so many benefits. I’m delighted to welcome the Suffolk New College and Suffolk Rural (formerly Otley College) to station adoption and can’t wait to help them develop all their exciting ideas to help make a positive difference to young people’s lives.”

Deputy principal of Suffolk New College and Suffolk Rural, Alan Pease, said, “We are committed to working in and supporting our local community. This project will give our students – from the arts to horticulture and from STEM subjects – the chance to have their work showcased in front of thousands of passengers who pass through the station every day. Students across other curriculum areas will also gain a valuable insight into the world of business via the work experience opportunities that will evolve from this opportunity.

“Our mantra at Suffolk New College is to give students exceptional experiences so we are delighted to be involved in this project and thankful to Greater Anglia and the East Suffolk Lines CRP for this fantastic partnership.”

While Suffolk New College, Greater Anglia, and the East Suffolk Lines CRP are currently working together to develop the plans, projects will not be taken forward until the pandemic restrictions are lifted and is safe to do so.