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Rail safety workshop inspires new group of station adopters

Southeast Communities Rail Partnership (SCRP) are pleased to be continuing their mission to spread rail safety messages, after leading an educational event for a group of students and staff from The Oaks, a specialist college in Tonbridge.

The Oaks work towards preparing their students for independent life after leaving education.

SCRP’s Education Officer Maddy Mills led the educational event, and Southeastern kindly gave the group access to the station’s training room.  

Upon leaving the classroom, the group were shown around Tonbridge station, introduced to staff members, and then taken on a return trip to Tunbridge Wells Station to put all they had learnt into practice. 

During their visit, the group also noticed that the verge that runs along by the Barden Road emergency exit was quite overrun with weeds. They have since offered to adopt the area and take on its care by weeding and planting.

At the end of last month, the group from The Oaks returned to Tonbridge Station, to begin installing and planting-up their handmade platform planters.

Tracy Simmonds, Careers Coordinator at The Oaks, said: “I just want to say a huge thank you for the trip, we all thoroughly enjoyed it. The learners have given great verbal feedback.

“To sum it up in Harry’s words, ‘This has been the best day… ever!’”

David Atkinson, Tonbridge Station Manager, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to host our guests from The Oaks. I think the staff and I got as much from it as the learners did. Thank you so much for your kind comments, it means a lot to us.”

Sharon Gray, Community Rail Development Officer at SCRP, said: “Maddy Mills is a true expert in her role. The group were engaged, educated, enthusiastic, and curious – there was also much fun and laughter. One young man was given the opportunity to make a platform announcement, which I can safely say truly made his day!

“This has been a great example of the community working with their local station and improving the environment. Watch this space for some butterfly and bee-attracting planting.”

Keep up to date with future news, projects, and events from Southeast Communities Rail Partnership via their website.