The 2022 Community Rail Awards took place last Thursday evening in Manchester and GCRP scooped first place in the Involving Diverse Groups category. The partnership also came third in Influencing Positive Change & Sustainability and were delighted to see the collaborative effort for the Platform Rail Community Education Scheme win first place in this category.
This year, the awards were held at Manchester’s Central Convention Complex, the former Manchester Central Railway Station and a fitting venue for the awards ceremony. Over 430 guests attended the event, including community rail volunteers, officers, rail industry leaders and government representatives. Thanks to funding from Great Western Railway and Cross Country Trains, GCRP were able to deliver some great projects involving young people, local communities, reaching out to underrepresented groups and supporting a fantastic collaborative project to engage schools with the rail industry and sustainable travel.
First place for Getaway
GCRP’s Getaway project won first place in the category for Involving Diverse Groups. This project provided 10 inspiring days out for 117 young people from underrepresented communities, working alongside The Friendship Café and The Music Works to drive confidence in young people to access the countryside via sustainable travel.
Gloucestershire CRP Partnership Executive Director Hannah McDonnell said:
"We are so proud of the team and want to thank our community and rail industry partners for making our Getaway programme possible. Putting diversity and inclusion at the centre of our work is a priority for GCRP and winning the Community Rail Award for Involving Diverse Groups showcases our commitment to diversifying rural spaces. We hope this will inspire others to do the same".
GCRP is continuing it’s work to remove barriers to rural spaces for underrepresented communities. Last month, 33 young people from The Music Works took a train trip from Gloucester to Malvern to play basketball at state-of-the-arts 'NBA approved' and fully wheelchair accessible basketball courts.
A further three trips for 70 young people are scheduled in the coming months with The Friendship Café and Al-Ashraf Primary School.
Read more in our Impact report and blog posts
Third place for Let's Talk Travel
Let’s Talk Travel started in April 2021 with the aim of proactively providing rail-based and integrated transport information and journey planning to those seeking access to work, training, and placements across Gloucestershire. The initiative scooped third place in the Influencing Positive Change & Sustainability category.
Listen to the interview with project lead Anna Reeves with Future Me Radio below.
Job seekers are now benefiting from an interactive approach to Let’s Talk Travel sessions to increase travel confidence: https://www.gloucestershirecommunityrail.org/post/it-s-communityrailweek
Find out more here: https://www.gloucestershirecommunityrail.org/lets-talk-travel
First place for Platform
Platform Rail Community Education Scheme, a collaborative project across Gloucestershire, Severnside, Worcestershire and TransWilts CRPs, took first place in the Influencing Positive Change & Sustainability category. The CRPs had a shared vision of developing an education offer across their areas that would successfully support schools in their engagement with the rail industry.
Severnside CRP manager Heather Cullimore said:
“It has been wonderful for Severnside to collaborate with Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and TransWilts Community Rail Partnerships to develop such a high-quality education offer open to mainstream schools and specialist education provision”.
Read more here and visit the Platform Website: https://platformrail.org/
The Community Rail Awards recognise the crucial, often unsung work carried out by community rail partnerships, station friends volunteers and community groups, in areas such as community and youth engagement, community-led station development, diversity and inclusion, and sustainable development.
Jools Townsend, chief executive of Community Rail Network, said:
“The Community Rail Awards give deserved recognition to community rail partnerships, groups and volunteers across Britain. We were thrilled to welcome more than 430 guests, alongside ministers and rail industry leaders, emphasising the great value of community rail, helping to build stronger, fairer, greener communities, served and connected by their railways and wider sustainable transport network. Despite another challenging year, the array of entries defied expectations, showing how community rail continues to strive to help people get the most from their railways and stations, and impact positively on local places and people’s lives. Our congratulations go to Gloucestershire CRP and all our winners, and thanks to everyone who supports community rail, helping the movement to go from strength to strength.”
Great Western Railway Managing Director Mark Hopwood added:
“GWR has ten Community Rail Partnerships on our network and we are incredibly proud of the work they do. They have great local knowledge and I know that they all work incredibly hard, as volunteers, inspiring sustainable improvements to their community and the local economy. They continue to deliver a host of worthwhile projects and I am delighted to see them gain such deserved recognition at the 2022 Community Rail Awards.”
Full details of all winners can be found here.