We’ve adopted Windsor and Eton Riverside train station!

Optalis Supported Employments Ability Travel programme have adopted Windsor and Eton Riverside Train Station.

Optalis Ability Travel has taken over Windsor and Eton Riverside station as part of the Rail Partnership project and is revitalising the space. The work is the result of Ability Travel adopting the station through the Rail Partnership Adopt a Station scheme. Teaming up to support Ability Travel with the station adoption are volunteers from Optalis Community Lives, specifically the Oakbridge Ranges group and they have got straight to work. Ability Travel was able to secure funding through the scheme as part of the station adoption to rejuvenate the raised beds in time for the Queen's Jubilee.

Julian, a volunteer with the Oakbridge Rangers explained 

“We had to clean out all the beds and dig it all over. I like the digging and being outside. It was a bit messy but looks better now. It was good that there are loads of people there.”

The groups work is already having an impact in making the station a more attractive place for local rail customers. Over the past few weeks, the team have cleared and re-planted four large planters, creating an instantly improved look and feel to the station. The team will continue to tend to the planters to ensure that the area remains a welcoming place for rail travellers.

Paula Aldridge, SWR’s Community Rail Manager said:

"Our Station Adopters are a vital part of the way that we work with and within local communities. Projects such as this one at Windsor and Eton Riverside which make our stations brighter and more welcoming for our customers, colleagues and local residents, wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of Optalis Ability Travel, the Oakbridge Rangers and organisations like them.”

Vicki Holt, Community Lives explained

“The people we support at Community Lives are always looking for ways to volunteer in their community, to give back and make a positive difference using their skills and talents. This project has provided us with a perfect platform to do just that, it is a space where people of all abilities can contribute to make a positive difference to their community and cheer up a person’s journey. We are looking forward to our continued partnership with Ability Travel and The Rail Partnership.”

The station adoption run alongside the work the Ability Travel team offer to provide support for those who might face barriers to travel. Donna Morgans explains:

“It is great to be part of this partnership, with the Community Lives team making the train station more welcoming, alongside the work our team will be doing to help people overcome barriers to travel. Our Ability Travel service aims to help people see the benefits of rail travel and explore ways to make it accessible to them. We hope that this not only helps people enjoy more freedom but also opens up opportunities for employment if they wish to pursue it.”

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