March 20th, 2024.

Community volunteers at Bishopstone railway station are celebrating picking up two prestigious awards at a national rail ceremony.

Barbara Mine, Friends of Bishopstone Station, won the prize for Outstanding Volunteer Contribution at the Community Rail Awards. The Friends group were in second place in the Most Enhanced Railway Spaces category for converting the Old Parcel Room at the station into a thriving community hub.

Barbara said: “I’m absolutely delighted and overwhelmed with the award. It’s a team effort and we all get involved. Everyone has been amazing.

“There’s so much more that needs to be done within our station community including the station building itself.”

Barbara has led the volunteers at Bishopstone station on the Seaford to Brighton rail line since the group started in early 2017. The team has worked with rail operators and industry organisations to raise funds and restore the Art Deco building which dates from 1938. A new community hub was opened at the station in November 2022.

Tim Barkley, chair of Southeast Communities Rail Partnership Community Interest Company, said: “We are delighted that our projects proved to be winners with the wider Community Rail Network. Well done to all the people involved in these excellent schemes, in particular the dedicated volunteers who work at the stations to make them a welcoming space.

“All the staff and directors at Southeast CRP congratulate everyone involved in the winning projects. It is pleasing that our collaborative approach with our partners has been recognised.”

Jools Townsend, chief executive of Community Rail Network, said: “Our congratulations to Barbara Mine and the Friends of Bishopstone Station and to all our winners, and thanks to everyone who supports and champions community rail, helping the movement to go from strength to strength.”

The Community Rail Awards were held at Swansea Arena on Monday the 18 of March. More than 430 guests included senior rail and transport leaders and community rail officers and volunteers. The event recognised projects supporting diversity, accessibility and inclusion, sustainable travel and tourism, youth and schools engagement, community-led station improvements, empowered communities and influencing positive change.

Pictured: Barbara Mine, chair of Friends of Bishopstone Station, receives her award for Outstanding Volunteer Contribution. Left to right: Marie Daly (chief officer for customer and culture, Transport for Wales), Jools Townsend (chief executive, Community Rail Network), Barbara Mine (chair of Friends of Bishopstone Station), Mark Hopwood (managing director, Great Western Railway)
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