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June 12, 2019

Brief Encounter

Our trains get a bit of a bad press. Whether it’s cancellations or delays or the variable and exorbitant price of a ticket, it’s not difficult to find fault. But many people clearly have a great deal of affection for the railways and in particular their local stations. Last Friday saw the first annual Scotrail in the Community awards ceremony and by all accounts it was a heart-warming affair. Over 1,200 people volunteer across Scotland’s railway network, many of whom are involved in the upkeep of the 275 stations that have been adopted so far by local people. Who’d have thought?



ScotRail has announced the shortlisted nominees for its first annual ScotRail in the Community Awards. 

The ceremony will take place on Friday 7 June at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow, which coincides with the last day of National Volunteer Week. 

The awards will thank and celebrate the hard-working volunteers across Scotland’s Railway, recognising their contribution to the wider local community and railway.

Awards include Adopt a Station of the Year, Station Adopter of the Year, Community Project of the Year and Community Volunteer of the Year.

There are over 1200 volunteers across Scotland contributing to their local communities in a variety of different activities and projects – from community classes to station adopters.

More than 275 ScotRail stations across the country are part of the Adopt a Station programme, which sees local volunteers assist in keeping our stations looking good through planting, local art and environmental initiatives. Our ten Community Rail Partnerships cover 95 stations and have delivered numerous projects providing local community, environmental and economic benefits. 

ScotRail Head of Economic & Community Development James Ledgerwood said: 

“We are delighted to host our first annual ScotRail in the Community Awards. 

“These awards are a great opportunity for us to showcase the fantastic work our many volunteers do across Scotland’s Railway.”

Shortlisted nominees

Adopt a Station of the Year nominees 

Dalry – The Dalry Station Gardeners Group (DSGG) has been station adopters for over five years. They continually strive to improve the station environment by creating an oasis for nature to thrive. With funding from the ScotRail Biodiversity Fun, the DSGG has installed bug, bird and bat boxes as well as bug hotels, wildflower habitats and bee friendly planting. 2018 saw the introduction of six wall murals, by artist, Leo du Feu depicting ‘Nature of Dalry.’ This project was funded by the ScotRail Cultural and Arts Fund. 

Kilpatrick – Action Old Kilpatrick (AOB) joined the adopt-a-station programme in 2018 and wanted to have an immediate visible impact on the station. The group initially installed three large planters with the help of volunteers and their friends and families.

Dyce – The Dyce Gardening Club / Dyce in Bloom have involved the wider community in their activities for nearly a decade, which included nursery children assisting with bio-diversity planting.  Redundant planters were donated by Aberdeen City Council, which the volunteers immediately set about recycling and installing at the station. They have engaged with the local Men’s Shed, and pupils from Dyce Academy designed art deco posters to be installed at station this year. 

Adopter(s) of the Year nominees 

Grow 73 have adopted Rutherglen station for the past three years. The volunteers are true ambassadors for community rail, supporting the local community by making the station a welcoming place for customers. Grow 73 have increased biodiversity and reduced pollution through flowers and herbs, as well as creating an interest for local heritage through art projects and food growing. 

Rosie Oberlander was head of North Berwick in Bloom station adopters’ group and ensured the annual planting schedule was followed. Rosie watered all the planters at the station – a time-consuming task that was necessary at least three times a week in the summer. In 2018 the station was one of three shortlisted for a national station award. The appearance of the station has made a significant contribution to North Berwick in Bloom’s success in Beautiful Scotland and Britain in Bloom. The excellent and much-admired displays at the railway station are due to Rosie’s hard work, dedication, leadership and enthusiasm. 

 Community Project of the Year nominees 

New Kids On The Platform – 6VT Edinburgh City Youth Café became the first ever Youth Community Rail Partnership (CRP) in the UK in June 2018. Since then, the group has delivered a variety of events including The Big Y Thingy – a showcase of youth talent in Edinburgh Waverley station which was attended by over 600 people and thousands more passers-by.

Moving On – Kilmarnock Station Heritage Trust. The Moving On provision is an outstanding social prescribing project which assists over 200 people in the local community per year. The project delivers physical and mental health wellbeing activity to assist those struggling with adversity including recovery from addiction, isolation, mental health issues or bereavement. 

Remembering Rutherglen Heritage Mural – Rail74. The mural and bio-diversity garden provide a warm welcome to all visitors to the station. This project brought together intergenerational voices and memories and translated them into a modern-day social documentation of local Rutherglen life, both past and present. It provides a visual impact of art alongside an environmental theme which has truly brightened the station entrance.

 Community Volunteer of the Year nominees

Roy Brown – Roy is a member of the Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership, representing Carrbridge station which is also his adopted station. Roy helps raise the awareness of CRP via social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and website. He ensures that information provided is accurate and is a real champion for community rail.

Suzi McCheyne of Rail 74 – Suzi is a true ambassador for community rail, supporting the communities of South Lanarkshire and the whole of Scotland. Suzi brings passion, direction, drive and influence to ensure the continuation of community rail in South Lanarkshire and Scotland. She is always willing to represent the community rail movement through – video, press, radio, presenting and of course lots of chatting through networking.