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June 2020

26 June 2020

Welcome back

Friends of olton station and friends of solihull station receiving their welcome back packs

It is a truth universally known that the railway runs on its volunteers during lockdown, volunteers have not been able to continue caring for their stations. As train operating companies are carefully starting to allow adoption groups to return to their stations the partners at the Heart of England CRP wanted to forgive a small token of appreciation for all the fantastic work that station adoption groups do. With part funding generously provided by the Community Rail Network, the Heart of England CRP has put together welcome backpacks for each of its volunteers.

Each pack contains hand sanitised from the Warwickshire Gin Company, a reusable fabric face mask, a bottle of Warwick-based Iyoki Chapman’s original drink, chocolate from Henley Chocolates and a pen donated by the Samaritans. Each station group also received a gift card for a garden centre local to their stations. The officer for the Heart of England CRP said, “Community Rail isn’t just about trains and stations, it’s about supporting the local communities. As well as saying a huge thank you to our amazing volunteers, it was also important that, as far as possible, we sourced the items in the welcome backpacks from local, independent businesses.”

The welcome backpacks have been well received, with volunteers describing them as ‘lovely and thoughtful'. Social distancing was followed when delivering the packs and guidance from West Midlands Trains and Chiltern Railways was reiterated in relation to their guidance on volunteer-based activity at stations.

23 June 2020

Backtrack anti-trespass campaign

Backtrack logo

The competition is open to all 11 to 18-year-olds across the UK and has six categories, with entrants being asked to make a video, write a song/rap, produce a storyboard or write a script which shares the anti-trespassing message. For each category, a GoPro Hero8 bundle is up for grabs, with the Film Winner’s prize having pledged by the Heart of England CRP. There are two key elements that entrants must remember – the video must be made from the young person’s home or garden and must not show any violence!

We want young people to show off their creativity to get the message across to their peers that being on the tracks in potentially deadly. And in order to spread the message to as many young people as possible, we are suggesting that young people (over 13 years old) share their video or song on social media and we have a category for the entry with the greatest social media impact!

The competition closes on 30th September 2020 and more information can be found on the Down the line website.

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