Shropshire to host 2019 Community Rail Awards

25 Jan, 2019
Community Rail Awards winners at the Glasgow 2018 gala dinner evening.

The Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) ‘Community Rail Awards’ gala dinner will be hosted at The International Centre, Telford, on 3 October 2019. The headline sponsor for this year’s event is West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway.

Now in its 15th year, the Community Rail Awards celebrates the important and often unsung work carried out by community rail volunteers, partnerships, station friends, and community groups, in bringing local people together, running community engagement and rail accessibility initiatives, and helping communities get the most from their local railway lines and stations.

Last year’s gala dinner was hosted in Glasgow, attracting nearly 500 guests and 180 award entries. The inspiring winners included:

  • Severnside community rail partnership won ‘Outstanding contribution to community rail’ for its work putting local lines back into the heart of communities, ranging from street art projects to a scheme helping vulnerable groups have the confidence to travel by rail;
  • Neil Williams won ‘Volunteer of the year’ for his work transforming Glossop Station into a hub for the community, including running engagement events and community gardening.

Awards entries open 15 April 2019 and can be made online at the ACoRP website.

Richard Brooks, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway, said: “Community rail activities make a huge difference to communities across our networks, and the Community Rail Awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise the work that goes on. We currently have three very active community rail partnerships within our franchise area, with more set to start up over the coming months. There are also over 150 station adopters at our stations, with that number growing rapidly towards our target of over 300.  We have also set ourselves an ambitious target of seeing community activity at every one of our 114 station in the West Midlands. All this work makes such a difference to our customers, staff and most importantly the communities and volunteers themselves, which is why we delighted to be headline sponsor for this year’s event.”

ACoRP chief executive, Jools Townsend said: “Many people aren’t aware of community rail, but it involves thousands of volunteers, and hundreds of groups, across Britain, striving to make a difference. Their vital work helps to make rail travel more accessible and user-friendly, promotes sustainable travel and tourism, and encourages people to take pride in their area and heritage. The inspiring entries we receive each year for the Community Rail Awards show the impact this work has on communities and people’s lives. The Awards are our flagship event, recognising the hard work and passion so many people put in to community rail. We’re excited to be taking the event to Shropshire this year with support of West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway.”

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