Volunteering on a heritage railway.
I am a business support manager within Supply Chain Operations at Network Rail. My role is to support teams with any commercial, project or customer service requirements.
I wanted to volunteer my time by participating in something that I felt part of, use my skills and see my input positively improving the local community.
What did we do?
The team I'm part of wanted to introduce a sustainable volunteering program that enabled employees to use their time to deliver real local community value.
We developed a partnership scheme with Mountsorrel Quarry and Heritage Railway, which quarried and transported stone for the Grand Central Railway over 100 years ago.
The project involved relaying track, switches and crossings, building stone huts, vegetation work, and creating nature trails in and around the quarry. This has in turn supported local tourism, had a positive environmental impact, and brought value to the community through promoting local heritage and cultural history.
What did we give and get?
The impact of all the volunteers' work has been amazing. The site is now 80 per cent complete and fully open to the public. The engine sheds and the track feeding them is now complete and two new nature trails have been developed. The site has seen a footfall of 34,000 people visit already in October 2016, against a forecast of 35,000 for the entire year. Visits from local community groups and schools are also now taking place.
The benefit to us as a team is that we used our expertise to support the local community and had time outside the office that brought the team closer together.