CRL - Community Rail Lancashire

Bolton & South Lancs CRP Officer Starts Work

One of CRL’s close neighbours, the Bolton & South Lancashire Community Rail Partnership is pleased to say that their new Community Rail Development Officer has started work this week.

Steph Dermott has started work as the CRDO on Monday 1st June as a far as current circumstances permit. It will be a difficult time with the railway under lock down measures but Steph is busy researching the community rail world and finding out what other CRPs are doing across the country.

The Bolton & South Lancashire CRP is one of the newest in the UK, having been formed last year. It covers the routes from Bolton into Wigan, Manchester, Preston and Bromley Cross. Steph’s main role will be about strengthening links between the railway and local communities.

The post is for two years initially and is funded by Northern, with additional contributions from CrossCountry, Avanti West Coast and Bolton at Home. Other key partners in the CRP include the University of Bolton, Transport for Greater Manchester Network Rail, TransPennine Express and Bolton Council. A growing number of community groups are involved with the CRP’s work. The CRP is part of the national Community Rail Network (formerly Association of Community Rail Partnerships).

Steph said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to the position of Community Rail Development Officer. I have always been passionate about community engagement, and I am excited to be involved in helping develop links between the railway and local communities,” she said.

Paul Salveson, chair of the partnership, said: “Her previous work at the Inter-Faith Council has been very much around social cohesion and community engagement. She has lots of skills which will transfer very well to the community rail partnership including event organisation such as Holocaust Memorial Day, Faith Trails, seminars, and working with a wide range of stakeholders.”

Bolton Community and Voluntary Services (BCVS) worked closely with the rail partnership in the recruitment process and will be Steph’s employing body. Helen Tomlinson of Bolton CVS said: “Bolton CVS was delighted to work with the Bolton and South Lancashire Community Rail Partnership in the recruitment of this new post. This exciting project will ensure the community is at the heart of the development of stations within the partnership, promote engagement in our social and industrial heritage and provide lots of opportunities for people to get involved through volunteering their time and skills.”

Bolton Station Community Partnership is a core member of the CRP and focuses on developing Bolton’s large station as a community hub. Its chair, Julie Levy, welcomed the appointment. “Steph will make a great difference in extending the reach of both partnerships into the wider community. We’re very much looking forward to involving Steph in a wide range of projects including our planned ‘mela’ event next year.”