NORTH Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership projects and station volunteers have been short-listed in the national Community Rail Awards 2013.
The Community Rail Awards, presented by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP), are awarded each year to recognise outstanding achievement and best practice in community rail development.
The North Staffordshire CRP, which works with East Midlands Trains to promote and develop the local Crewe, Stoke-on-Trent to Derby service which runs through Blythe Bridge, is on the short-list in three award categories, which are; - Small Projects Award, for the Partnership's dedicated 'Bee-Friendly' project at Alsager station, in which the station volunteers selected and planted a variety of pollinating plants and fitted bee boxes within the extensive station gardens. The project serves to provide a sustainable habitat for bees whilst also further improving the station environment for passengers.
- Community art schemes: Renewable and Smaller projects, for the poster artwork designed by Alsager School students with East Midlands Trains to support the 'Bee- Friendly' project. The posters feature a selection of unique bee designs to promote rail travel from the station and encourage station volunteering, as well as entreating passengers to 'Bee Kind to Bees'.
- Outstanding Teamwork Award, recognising the work of the Partnership and station volunteers in regenerating the smaller stations (Alsager, Blythe Bridge, Kidsgrove, Longport, Longton, Uttoxeter and Tutbury and Hatton) through fund-raising, involving the community in station improvement projects and transforming station gardens.
Partnership Chair Michael Willmot said: "We are delighted to be on the short-list.
With more than 50 community rail partnerships and many station friends groups across the country competing for these awards it is a great achievement and reflects the continued and sterling support of all our volunteers and members."
Neil Micklethwaite, Customer Service and Commercial Director for East Midlands Trains, said: "It is great news that the North Staffordshire CRP has been shortlisted for so many awards this year. This is a real demonstration of the great work that has been done by the team and we wish them the best of luck."
The awards, which are sponsored by train operators and rail industry organisations, will be made at a special awards ceremony to be held in Llandudno on Friday, September 27.