Albrighton visitors receive brighter welcome thanks to station adoption
London Midland is helping to provide rail passengers with a brighter welcome at Albrighton station though a new adoption planting project, supported by the community’s Scout group and local sponsors.
The adopter group, ‘Friends of Albrighton Station’, was formed after a presentation given by Faye Lambert, London Midland’s head of community rail, to the Albrighton and District Civic Society about London Midland’s ‘Adopt a Station’ scheme. The talk inspired them to take action to enhance their local station, transforming it into a valuable community hub and gateway to their town.
In addition to the 10 adult adopters, who regularly undertake planting at the station, the 1st Albrighton Scouts also attend on a weekly basis to help keep the station environment clear of litter. As well as helping them to develop a sense of community spirit and learn valuable skills, the children are using the experience to work towards their Scout badges.
In support of the project, four local businesses have also made generous donations of plants to the new garden areas on the station platforms.
Well-known local business David Austin Roses is donating a number of colourful plants to the project. These will be used to help to put Albrighton on the map with a new station sign saying ‘Albrighton, home of the English rose’.
Kingswood Nurseries is providing evergreen plants for the station’s five window boxes, to be replaced later in the year with winter pansies and a fragrant trailing lobelia.
Finally, Albrighton Business Forum is also giving a selection of herbs for the newly-created window boxes at the front of the station.
In addition to the work at the station, local online business Shop4Ducks has provided branded ‘Friends of Albrighton Station’ teddies to promote the group’s work at locations around the town.
Phil Ogle, Friends of Albrighton station lead adopter, commented: “From the very beginning of the project, we’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and generosity of the local community and businesses. From picking up litter at the station to installing a variety of beautiful seasonal plants, everyone’s individual efforts will make a huge difference to the welcome visitors to Albrighton receive. We have plans for community artwork too and are looking forward to working on a variety of projects which will reflect the community’s pride for the station.”
Faye Lambert said: “It’s fantastic to see the community and adopters of all ages now working in partnership to make such a valuable contribution to their local station. The plants donated will make a huge difference to visitors’ first impression of the town.
“The project at Albrighton really captures the spirit of community rail – enabling us to get closer to the communities we serve and supporting local people to work with us to improve their stations.”
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Since 2007, London Midland has been providing train services to and from London in the south, to Birmingham in the Midlands and Liverpool in the north-west. Over 70 million passenger journeys a year are made using on the network and London Midland manages 150 stations and operates 1,300 services a day.
London Midland is owned by Govia, the partnership between the Go-Ahead Group and Keolis. Govia is the UK’s busiest rail operator, responsible for nearly 30 per cent of UK passenger rail journeys through its three rail companies, GTR (which includes Gatwick Express services), Southeastern and London Midland. Further information on Govia is available at www.govia.info
London Midland has won a range of awards, including Best Local Transport Integration, five Rail Business Awards for marketing, public relations and customer information, five Golden Spanner Awards for Engineering, three IOIC awards for internal communication and five Railstaff Awards for Outstanding Customer Service, Lifesaving and Charity Work. In 2017 London Midland was named as Britain's most improved train company by the Institute of Rail Operators and the UK's most improved organisation for customer service in the UKCSI survey.
In 2017 London Midland was also awarded the Investors in People (IiP) Gold Award and the 5 Star award by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) in 2014. Achievements for working with communities recognised with an International Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) award (2017), an HR Excellence award for Best CSR Strategy (2017) and five national Community Rail awards (2017).