Volunteer profile: LNW DOT team

Helping the Albrighton Trust

We’re the Works Delivery Drainage and Off Track (DOT) team for the London North West Route…

A normal day for the DOT team on the railway involves woodland management along the railway as well as surveying our lineside vegetation and ecology. On average, each year the team walk 400 track miles surveying lineside trees and oversee the delivery of woodland management along some 100 miles of track every year. The team were able to use their professional skills in arboriculture and ecology to support a local charity on a team volunteering day.

What did we do?

The Albrighton Trust, Moat and Gardens offers educational and recreational activities for people with disability, special needs or illness, who are welcomed and supported whatever their capability. They have a proven track record of supporting the most hard to reach in society, providing positive outdoor activities and offering opportunities to enhance or change lives. We used our volunteer leave to help maintain and improve these facilities.

What did we give and get?

To enhance the Trust’s facilities, our staff cut and removed 50 square metres of turf and prepared the soil for the planting of wild flower meadows.

We used our specialist skills to survey trees in the gardens and remove branches from trees that were identified as posing a risk to the users of the gardens.

We also cleaned out and desilted the Trust’s sensory garden pond, weeded the sensory garden and replanted the filtration beds for the moat.

This work was carried out to help the Trust as it is not government funded and operates solely through volunteers and donations. The improvements we made help patients recuperating from medical conditions, operations and rehabilitation to relax and integrate into the community.

What have we learnt?

We found through our volunteering that the skills and experience that we use and gain from working at Network Rail can be transferred and used to benefit others. All Network Rail staff benefit from an allowance of five days volunteer leave each year, and to use professional skills during this time is extremely rewarding.