Community rail initiatives delivered by community groups, partnerships and volunteers across Britain have been celebrated at the 17th Community Rail Awards.
The locally led projects support social inclusion, sustainable travel, empowered communities, and economic recovery. Many supported communities through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organised by Community Rail Network, the event was held at Southampton’s 02 Guildhall, but also streamed live online. More than 300 guests attended, including community rail volunteers, officers, rail industry leaders and government representatives.
The Outstanding Contribution to Community Rail Award was jointly awarded to the Southeast Communities Rail Partnership (SCRP) and Friends of Buxton Station (FBS).
The SCRP co-ordinates activity on eight rail lines across Sussex, Kent, Surrey and Berkshire, including education and sustainable travel programmes reaching thousands of children, helping adults with additional needs to become more confident about using rail, and promoting green leisure travel.
The FBS cemented its place at the heart of its community during the pandemic via initiatives ranging from art projects at the station, raising awareness about biodiversity, improving integrated transport, and supporting local businesses.
Joining Community Rail Network CEO Jools Townsend to present the awards were Mark Hopwood and Claire Mann, managing directors of Great Western Railway and South Western Railway respectively. The operators were event’s headline sponsors.
The winners were:
- Community Rail Network Award for Outstanding Contribution to Community Rail: Southeast Communities Rail Partnership and Friends of Buxton Station.
- Board’s Special Recognition Award: Kulvinder Bassi MBE.
- Outstanding Volunteer Contribution (sponsored by Merseyrail): Dave Carlisle of Friends of Buxton Station.
- Station Friends and Adopters at the Heart of Communities (sponsored by Avanti West Coast): Friends of Buxton station for Part of the Community: At the Heart of our Community.
- Involving Children and Young People (sponsored by Grand Central Railway): Community Rail Education Network for Backtrack: Create it, Share it, Save lives.
- Involving Diverse Groups (sponsored by LNER): South East Lancashire Community Rail Partnership for Hate Crime Awareness Project.
- Community Creative Projects and Station Arts (sponsored by Transport for Greater Manchester): Community Rail Cumbria and Workington Focus Group for Rails Which Circled the World - outdoor art exhibition at Workington station
- Small Projects Award - under £500 (sponsored by Community Rail Lancashire): Bittern Line Community Rail Partnership, Greater Anglia Asset Team, Dura Composites Ltd for West Runton Station Sign Restoration.
- Best Community Engagement Project (sponsored by Rock Rail): Community Rail Lancashire for 100 Women, 100 Journeys.
- Best Communications (sponsored by CrossCountry): Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership for Dartmoor Line Communications Group - Promoting a New Era for the line to Okehampton.
- Influencing Positive Change and Sustainability (sponsored by TransPennine Express): East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership and Suffolk County Council for Katch All - Electric Demand-Responsive-Transport Link
- Photo Competition/Community Rail in 2020/21 (sponsored by Porterbrook): Poacher Line Community Rail Partnership and the friends of Radcliffe Station for Roll out the Barrows!