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Updates on community rail in Wales & Borders

Chirk Station

Rhiannon-Jane Raftery, community rail development coordinator, gives an update on activity across the Wales & Borders region.

The newly expanded Conwy Valley and North West Wales Coast Community Rail Partnership successfully achieved reaccreditation from the DfT at the beginning of May. Karen Williams, the community rail officer, has done a brilliant job. She started the role in November 2020 during lockdown for COVID-19, but that hasn’t stopped her delivering activities. It has been a pleasure to see her inspiring projects in action, including the fantastic ‘Walks for Wellbeing’ programme.

Another of our recent officer recruits, Ashley Morgan from South West Wales Connected, has also been busy, recently delivering ‘ramble and scramble’ walks with year 6 pupils from Mae Y Morfa Primary School in Llanelli, encouraging young people to explore their local area.

Our latest recruit, Jessica Wragg, only began her new role as community rail officer with the restructured former Chester Shrewsbury CRP in April. The partnership now extends to Crewe, and is currently choosing a new name to reflect the expanded territory it covers. Jessica was a primary teacher and community engagement officer with Groundwork North Wales prior to joining the CRP, working with an extremely diverse range of groups. She has already achieved an unbelievable amount of activity in just four weeks. She has activities planned for Community Rail Week including a station walk from Chirk, and will be taking part in the community rail showcase day at Manchester Piccadilly Station. I’m sure there are exciting times ahead for this CRP, and we look forward to seeing how it develops.