Volunteers from Linbrooke Services Ltd and Network Rail Capital Delivery put their skills to good use at Poppleton Community Railway Nursery on 17 November, helping to renovate a wagon for its unique narrow gauge railway.
13 volunteers from Linbrooke and its client Network Rail spent a day at the York nursery, sanding and painting the wagon’s underframe and axles, and clearing, sorting and cleaning buildings that will play host to workshops in future. Other members of the team turned their hands to planting and weeding.
The group comprised members of Linbrooke’s planning, controls, project management and commercial teams, as well as staff from Network Rail Capital Delivery (for which Linbrooke is a framework contractor).
Lindsay Cooper, senior project planner at Linbrooke, organised the event. She commented: “Despite the terrible weather, it was a fantastic day, and a great opportunity to spend a bit of time away from the office getting to know people we don’t necessarily work with on a regular basis.
“It was also a chance to offer a bit of help to the local community using volunteer leave. There was even time for some train driving at the end of it all.”
Lindsay was tasked with finding a ‘rail-related’ volunteering opportunity in either Derby, Sheffield, or York, where three of Linbrooke’s national offices are based. She and her team jumped at the chance to support Poppleton Community Railway Nursery, which is run as a not-for-profit organisation and staffed almost entirely by volunteers – many of whom are retired, or simply have a free afternoon
The UK’s last surviving railway nursery has partnered with health agencies in the York area and also provides volunteering opportunities for adults recovering from mental health issues. Corporate volunteering groups play a key role in the nursery’s upkeep, helping with larger, more physically demanding projects.
Jo Sullivan Jones, chairperson and corporate group volunteer coordinator at Poppelton Community Railway Nursery, added: “The volunteers from Linbrooke and Network Rail were an amazing group. The weather was awful, but we still had them working outside at times, and got a lot done. They were very brave, and even cleaned out a room with mice in it.
“We depend on these corporate groups