Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) in partnership with charity Groundwork London are transforming stations by planting flowers, supporting young adults to gain vital skills and providing a positive boost to biodiversity on the railways.
GTR is currently undergoing a scheme to improve around 250 stations across their network, using passenger feedback to help determine the best way to use their resources.
At many stations, landscaping and planting flowers and trees have been on the list of things to improve. This is where the partnership between GTR and Groundwork London developed.
Groundwork London helps support unemployed young adults aged between 16 to 24 gain vital skills and experience in a horticultural career, learn towards a City & Guilds Horticulture and Employability qualifications and earn a wage.
The Government’s Kickstart scheme has supported the four youngest to join Groundwork London.
Recently Groundwork London was working at Alexandra Palace station in London, where Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris joined the trainees in planting out gardens and other areas across the station.
One of 18 stations Groundwork London will work at, wooden planters and areas of grass are being transformed, encouraging wildlife to visit and improving journeys for thousands of rail users.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris, said: “It was fantastic to visit Alexandra Palace station and put in a shift alongside one of Groundwork’s Green Teams as they brought new life to a station. As we build back better, we remain committed to improving stations, making our railways greener and providing new skills and jobs through the excellent Kickstart campaign.”
Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP, said: “It’s great to see our Plan for Jobs changing lives in difficult times. Green jobs is an important part of our recovery, and the skills these young people will develop through the Kickstart Scheme puts them in a great position to develop a career in a flourishing industry.”
Tom Moran, Managing Director for Thameslink and Great Northern, said: “Over the past year, we’ve been investing in our stations to create an even better experience for our passengers as they return to the railway. Our partnership with Groundwork London’s Green Teams is helping local young people gain great experience, as well as making our stations more colourful and environmentally friendly places for the local communities they serve.”
Graham Parry, Director of Youth Employment and Skills, Groundwork London, said: “We’ve long believed that the best way to help young people start a career is to give them job, and Kickstart will enable Groundwork London to offer this stepping stone into the green economy for over 200 unemployed young people this year. Our partnership with GTR enables us to offer these young people real work experience in high profile public spaces. The skills they will learn and pride they can take from completing these wonderful projects will prepare them well for their future career.”
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