Wednesday 8 Nov 2017
Garden in Oldbury school transformed by Network Rail volunteers
- London North Western
A special school in Oldbury is thrilled to be benefiting from volunteers from Network Rail who have transformed their school grounds.
The Meadows special school, on Dudley Road East, initially contacted Network Rail to ask for donations of sleepers to use in their memorial garden.
Network Rail responded by sending a team of volunteers who have given the school’s memorial garden a complete make-over.
The memorial garden area of the school was previously inaccessible for pupils and families who are wheelchair users and the school council and parents group wanted to improve access so everyone could have the opportunity to remember those pupils and staff that have passed away.
The team from Network Rail, headed up by Allun Edge, Infrastructure Maintenance Protection Coordinator, provided all of their labour on a volunteer basis, and used part of the ‘5 volunteer days’ that they are entitled to each year to support this worthwhile project.
Sixth Form students at the school kept the volunteers fed and watered providing them bacon and sausage sandwiches and gallons of tea and coffee.
Jo Cliffe, Head Teacher at The Meadows said “We are absolutely stunned by the work that has been done by this wonderful team of volunteers from Network Rail.
“We would like to thank the Network Rail team for everything they have done and want to welcome them back soon for the official opening ceremony.
“When organisations engage with special schools, it is of benefit to our pupils, but also wider society – helping everyone to understand how important it is to accept diversity and celebrate the individual skills that each of us bring.
“Our pupils, families and the staff team at The Meadows are incredibly grateful for the work that has been undertaken and wish to express their heartfelt thanks for all that has been done in their behalf.”
Allun from Network Rail added: “It was a real pleasure for all of us to visit The Meadows, meet the brilliant pupils and help make the memorial garden a special place for them to enjoy. And those bacon sarnies were amazing!”
Work is still under way to get the garden finished. The school hope to raise some money for the centre piece sculpture by the local artist and sculptor, Luke Perry. This piece of artwork has been designed by Luke, along with the bereaved families, to remember the individual pupils in a personalised manner.
Sandwell Council have requested that any individuals or organisations who wish to help complete this project contact: Pastoralteam@themeadows.sandwell.sch.uk or call the school on 0121 569 7080.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.