A group of station adopters from Llanishen are backing the call for more people to consider volunteering at their local railway station, making a positive difference to their community during National Volunteers Week (1-7 June).
The voluntary group in Llanishen are one of many groups who look after unstaffed stations across Arriva Trains Wales’ network.
Arriva’s National ‘Adopt a Station’ scheme launched in 2004, and since then over 130 Arriva Trains Wales stations have been adopted by community-spirited volunteers across Wales, who receive an annual issue of rail travel vouchers as a token for their hard work.
However, 84 stations across the network are still awaiting reliable and kind-hearted individuals to take on their local station and benefit their community.
Tony Fundell, station adopter at Llanishen station in Cardiff, said:
“In conjunction with Llanishen Rotary Club, I’ve been a station adopter at Llanishen for two years and it’s a great way to socialise, keep active and make new friends.
“We’re responsible for maintaining the station grounds and planting flowers to brighten up the appearance of the station. We also provide feedback on any litter or vandalism that appears, so this can be addressed as soon as possible. My group has thoroughly enjoyed taking part in Arriva’s ‘Adopt a Station’ scheme so far and hope to continue the good work that brings so much joy to those passing through the station every day.
“I would definitely encourage others looking to give something back to their community to consider becoming a station adopter — it’s hard work but great fun and the feedback we’ve received from passengers definitely makes it worthwhile!”.
Station adopters are simply asked to complete monthly surveys — sent by text, email or post — on matters such as litter, graffiti, vandalism, lighting and timetable information so issues can be addressed by Arriva.
There are also opportunities for volunteers to compete for ‘Best Kept Station’ titles — a desired award for station adopters across the UK.
The goal for ‘Adopt a Station’ has always been to create a clear and respectful cohesion between Arriva, local communities and customers living close to the network’s unstaffed stations by facilitating regular feedback on the conditions of the sites.
Geraint Morgan, Community Relations Manager for Arriva Trains Wales, said:
“Our ‘Adopt a Station’ scheme encourages both individuals and groups to keep active and make new friends, while doing something pro-active for their local community.
“A key task for the role involves submitting two reports a month regarding the appearance of the station and facilities, such as highlighting any issues or problems with lights, timetables and vandalism. Any issues or concerns emphasized by the volunteers can then be resolved quickly and effectively by Arriva Trains Wales and the selected station managers.
He continued; “Some of our stations also have wonderful gardens and floral displays which are cared for by our station adopters, and many have won national awards for their efforts — providing a pleasant environment for both customers and staff.”
For more information on Arriva Trains Wales’ ‘Adopt a Station’ scheme and to become a station adopter, please visit www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/AdoptStation or contact 03333 211202.