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Appeal for new ‘Friends of Ilkley Railway Station Group’

The Ilkley Community Network is looking for interested individuals or organisations in the local community who would be willing to join a Friends group to enhance and protect Ilkley Railway Station.

Initiated by Northern Rail, who support a growing number of these Friends of Station groups, the idea is to engage the local community in making the station environments more welcoming. This could be done through a range of projects such as gardening/floral displays, artwork, or partnerships with local schools and community groups. The regional Community Managers Richard Isaac will work closely with these groups to help them develop plans.

Northern Rail believes that these ‘community volunteers’ are vital to help them deliver attractive, clean, well-managed stations that encourage non-users, make people using the station feel safe and show existing customers that their train operator cares about their personal comfort and wellbeing. It also helps to reduce anti-social behaviour and brings the station into the heart of the community it serves.

The type of organisations which Northern Rail hopes will participate are groups which want to make sure that first impressions reflect the pride they feel in their community. Community organisations such as Round Table and Rotary Clubs may want a presence on the Friends Group as this might help them recruit new members and would make an active contribution to their local community. Similarly, health organisations could use activity at the station as part of their therapeutic work with disadvantaged groups or people with disabilities or mental health issues.

On the commercial side, businesses keen to contribute to the local community as part of their social responsibility agenda might wish to become involved. We hope the local Business Improvement District (BID) and Ilkley Business Forum (IBF) will participate who are keen to encourage inward investment and make sure the place where many people will arrive to visit local businesses leaves a favourable impression.

The involvement of schools could introduce the next generation to rail travel. Station adoption could form part of their curriculum in civic studies or horticulture. Or help might be found from local horticultural groups, keen to make their town or village a bit more attractive.

As well as a group for Ilkley railway station, a second group could cover Ben Rhydding station.

Ilkley Community Network is hoping that there will be a great response to this appeal which will lead to groups working together towards shared goals for the overall health and wellbeing of our town. If you, or your organisation would be interested in meeting with the Northern Rail Regional Manager to discuss participation, please first contact David Shaw MBE – Chair of Ilkley Community Network. 07740797281


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