Rail partners, sponsors and members of the local community gathered yesterday to celebrate the community’s adoption of Wellington station as part of London Midland’s Adopt a Station scheme.
Despite only being established in May 2017, Friends of Wellington Station now has 27 members who are passionate about improving this community hub, to benefit both residents and rail passengers passing through the town each day. The adopters hail from diverse backgrounds, including teaching, professional services, business and local community groups.
In a very short space of time, the group has raised almost £4,000 in sponsorship from Tesco Groundworks, taxi company Go Carz, Shropshire Lavender and the Buckatree Hall Hotel. This has enabled the planting of an attractive lavender terrace at the gateway to Platform 1 as well as extensive flower and herb displays and distinctive signage, outlining the history of both the station and the adoption project.
As part of the project, Wellington station is also being brightened up with the addition of an antique market cart, donated by Wellington Market Company and refurbished by Nick Rogers, a member of London Midland’s property team, which the adopters will be planting with fragrant herbs. The new Friends of Wellington planters, sponsored by London Midland, were expertly crafted by a creative team at Telford and Wrekin’s Inclusive Training Services, based at TEN Horsehay, which helps people with disabilities to gain the skills and qualifications needed to get into work. Working with adopter Bob Coalbran, the team also made the attractive Walkers are Welcome Information Case on Platform 2, which was recognised with an award in the ‘Small Project’ category at the 2017 Community Rail Awards.
Looking ahead, Friends of Wellington have ambitious plans for a pollinator-friendly Secret Garden on Platform 3, as well as the regeneration of the disused platform buildings.
Fay Easton, lead adopter and former Shrewsbury town centre manager, said: “This initiative is all about ‘people power’ and I have never known such enthusiasm and energy for a public project. Our adopters are all united by one thought – to improve their home town of Wellington. We have been overwhelmed by the help from London Midland, Network Rail and our sponsors and this launch event coincides with the launch of Go Wellington, a brand new visitor guide sponsored by one of our key backers, taxi company Go Carz. It’s been a joy working on this project and we’re all looking forward to an exciting and productive future for our local station.”
Faye Lambert, head of community rail at London Midland, commented: “This project is a wonderful example of how communities can come together through station adoption to aid local regeneration. The improvements at Wellington station would not have been possible without the inspiring ideas and hard work of the adopters. A huge thank you to them and to the many sponsors for their generous support to the new Friends of Wellington station adoption team.”
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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 three 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 awarded the Investors in People (IiP) Gold Award and been awarded the 5 Star award by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) in 2014.