On Tuesday 28 June, representatives from all over the country came together in Southampton for an event to showcase some great examples of the work of Community Rail Partnerships.
Opening the day CrossCountry’s Managing Director, Tom Joyner, told the audience of his admiration for their efforts to deliver real benefit not just to stations but also into the surrounding communities. Much had been achieved he said, and often their local and focused efforts had resulted in significant benefits for train operators by highlighting the opportunities for travel and enhancing the passenger experience.
he partnerships’ work during the pandemic had been particularly impressive in adapting to the sudden need to support the elderly and disadvantaged. He singled out New Forest CRP, who had taken XC funding for a project to entertain passengers on trains and used this to create ‘Food on the Move’, providing food parcels to individuals and families in need and supporting food banks. So far, the project has raised £182,000 for Hampshire and Isle of Wight communities and is still going strong.
Other projects showcased included bringing back redundant station building for community use meeting modern standards but also being carbon-neutral, and work to support people needing a little extra help re-entering work or education.
Speaking after the event, organisers Bobby Lock and Nick Farthing from two of the local CRPs thanked Tom for CrossCountry’s support and his praise for their work during difficult times. They added: “It’s great we have such an established relationship between CrossCountry and our respective Community Rail Partnerships.”