MORE than 100 volunteer station employees from across the South Western Railway and Great Western Railway region gathered for an awards ceremony.
The first regional awards ceremony for station volunteers in South West and South England was hosted by the Blackmore Vale Line Community Rail Partnership and sponsored by The Gardens Group and South West Coaches.
On Wednesday 19th October volunteers traveled from across the region from locations including Winchester, Romsey, Salisbury, Bitterne, London, Petersfield, Swaythling, Yeovil, Wareham, Swanage, Wool, Tisbury, Crewkerne, Axminster, Honiton, Dorchester and Maiden Newton, Chetnole, Castle Cary, Bruton and Frome to attend the event at Castle Gardens in Sherborne.
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Throughout the summer, leading up to the awards ceremony, a series of regional station tours explored the volunteer efforts behind the Stations in Bloom campaign.
Each group of volunteers at the station received a unique award presented by Claire Mann, Managing Director of South Western Railway.
Among the top winners were Winchester, Salisbury, Bitterne, Netley, Woolston, Swaythling, Petersfield, Romsey, Mottisfont and Dunbridge, Tisbury, Sherborne and Gillingham.
Winchester Councilwoman Kelsie Learney, Cabinet Member for Climate Emergencies, accepted an award on behalf of Winchester Station.
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Event host Derek Beer, Chairman of the Blackmore Vale Line Community Rail Partnership said: “What a great honor and privilege to be able to share an event with such dedicated and talented people. The memory I will take away from visiting so many groups is the diversity they bring to each of their projects to meet the needs of not only their stations but the wider communities as well.
“Everyone at the event benefitted I think, not just from a nice cream tea, a sense of the occasion and most importantly learning to hear about each other’s projects.”
The Blackmore Vale Line Community Rail Partnership (BVCRP) is a Department of Transportation (DfT) accredited rail partnership
The partnership works with local people, station groups, statutory and voluntary groups and businesses to promote the area to potential rail travelers and stimulate tourism. BVCRP also aims to increase community involvement at its stations and encourages residents and visitors to use the stations for a variety of journeys.