A big thank you to everyone who participated in ACoRP’s membership survey for 2019. We received a wide range of responses from across the membership, including another increase in the number of responses from station friends or adoption groups, and have carefully analysed the results.
Now occurring every year, the survey provides us with some member satisfaction measures which helps us to assess and reflect on what we are doing well and what we need to improve. In addition, it allows us to create a more detailed picture of your future priorities and challenges, which ensures our work continues to respond to your needs and provides support for the growing community rail movement.
The headline figures for 2019
- With an increase in the number of responses from station groups, we saw a small drop in perceived value for money from ACoRP membership from 79% in 2018 to 76% this year. The average figure from community rail partnerships (CRPs) was higher (83%) than that of station-based/other community rail groups (65%);
- Nearly nine in 10 (86%) respondents said ACoRP communicated well (very or reasonably) with members. Those who felt ACoRP communicated very well rose significantly from 33% to 54%. ‘Community Rail News’ (formerly Train On Line) was used by 90% of respondents, up from 88% last year, but the most popular communication channel overall remains the ACoRP website, with 93% of respondents stating they used the site at least ‘sometimes’ this year, up from 89% in 2018. Engagement with ACoRP’s social media accounts, particularly Twitter, is on the increase, and online and printed resources remain well-used, with 84% saying they used them at least ‘sometimes’ in the past year;
- 73% of respondents said they had received direct support from ACoRP (e.g. via meetings, over the phone, e-mail) over the past year, 97% of CRPs and 58% of station adoption or other community rail groups. For all members, the most common benefit was being able share experiences and access examples of good practice, therefore helping groups feel part of the wider community rail movement, followed by having a more structured guide to planning their work and development, and feeling more confident or knowledgeable about a topic or issue;
- The top priority for the next 12 months across all respondents was developing links with and engaging their local communities (69%). In addition, CRPs said they were keen to develop and extend marketing/communications and tourism activity, with station-based/other groups focused on recruiting and developing volunteers. Members highlighted a wide array of existing working relationships with community rail partners, the most common being local authorities, rail user groups, local schools/colleges/universities, and local businesses and/or social enterprises;
- The percentage of respondents who had attended at least one ACoRP event, e.g. seminars, conferences, the awards, or Community Rail in the City, over the previous year rose from 73% to 75%. Members said their attendance had helped them feel part of a wider community rail movement, and had allowed them to feel inspired by or use ideas from a different group to help develop their work;
- 53% of respondents said they had been involved in projects engaging young people aged 11-25 over the past year, 76% of CRPs and 39% of station/other groups. The most common projects were those with an emphasis on rail safety or initiatives engaging young people in arts/history/creative activities. ACoRP members remain keen to engage children and young people in their work, with nearly half (47%) highlighting this as a priority for the coming year;
- 86% of respondents said they were involved in sustainability-related activity linked to community rail, with biodiversity schemes, walking/cycling projects, and promoting rail as a sustainable travel option the most common.
The results of the 2019 membership survey will help to inform the ACoRP team’s planning processes over the coming months, and will be fed back to key partners including the Department for Transport. An update was given to the ACoRP board earlier this month. The next survey will be carried out in early Autumn 2020.
A big thank you again from all the ACoRP team. We really value your input and suggestions. Remember that we are always listening and are always keen to hear your thoughts and ideas so please do get in touch.