Dylan Etheridge, 16, (left) and Alex Sams, 14, help Virgin's Trish Bromley create a flower-packed welcome for visitors to Durham station.
Virgin Trains hopes to sow the seeds of success for Durham city’s bid to win two top environmental awards.
Station staff today worked with young people to hang flowers and plant a herb garden and summer bedding at Durham station to ensure judging for the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom and Northumbria in Bloom awards get off to a bright start this summer.
The city’s In Bloom campaign is hoping to scoop the highly prestigious national and regional environmental awards – and the station is one of a number of key locations which looks to impress the judges when they arrive in Durham in July and August.
The work at the station is being undertaken by the train operator in partnership with Durham County Council’s Clean and Green, and Civic Pride teams, supported by young people from Durham Agency Against Crime’s Haggrid group.
Alan Patrickson, Durham County Council’s Head of Direct Service for Neighbourhoods, said: “Durham train station is one of the first places visitors see when they arrive so it’s great to be working with Virgin Trains to ensure it looks its best and gives a good first impression.
“Virgin Trains brings thousands of people into Durham every day so it’s fantastic that their staff are involved and supporting the In Bloom campaign.”
Trish Bromley, Customer Experience Manager for Virgin Trains, which manages the station, said: “Virgin is committed to supporting the work of local communities and working with partners to promote the environment and tourism across its route.
“And, as a Durham lass born and bred, I really hope we can all play our part by giving the judges the best possible welcome and first impression of the city when they arrive at Durham station.”
The Haggrid group is supported by Durham Constabulary and works with young people on projects which have a positive impact on their local community. Those taking part in today’s planting will gain credit towards a horticultural qualification.
One of the young volunteers, Dylan Etheridge, said: “The Haggrid project has helped me so much, giving me a positive direction in life, increasing my confidence and employment opportunities. This project has changed my life for the better.”