The Big Spring Clean!

Does your station need a Big Spring Clean? Join the pick!

The Great British Spring Clean 2020 will officially launch on the 25th of January.

In 2019, over 563,163 people, including 175,055 students, volunteered their time to take part in our campaign – the biggest ever! Cleaning up streets, parks and beaches, #LitterHeroes across the country have been making big improvements to the environment on their doorstep.

  • 17,097 clean-ups were held and 957,377 bags of litter collected – that’s 239,344 wheelie bins full of rubbish or 4,308 tonnes worth.
  • Around 61% of the litter collected was ‘general waste’ and approximately 39% has been recycled (18% plastic, 21% aluminium).
  • Over 1.1 million hours have been dedicated to the campaign – equivalent in time to 128.5 years (24/7).

Brew Monday

Monday 20th January 2020, Samaritans volunteers, joined by our colleagues are hosting ‘Brew Monday’ events at stations all across the Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Southeastern network.

Brew Monday is an initiative timed to coincide with one of the most challenging times of year for many people. It’s designed to encourage people to connect over a cup of tea, raise awareness of mental health and all while raising life-saving funds for Samaritans.

The Samaritans play a crucial role in the UK rail sector, providing training for our staff, life-saving interventions and support after an incident on the railway.


‘Try a Train’ to Eastbourne

Another great morning out on the trains practicing our travel skills with Hazelcourt Secondary School with thanks to Southern for providing free train travel as a part of the scheme. After a school based workshop students and staff traveled to Eastbourne putting theory into practice. Additionally providing good experience for rail staff on barriers to train travel. Sussex Community Rail Partnership is working in conjunction with ESCC on  the Active Access for Growth programme which promotes sustainable healthy travel including using public transport, cycling and walking.

Try a Train to Lewes

A great Try a Train with Hazelcourt Secondary, Eastbourne providing life skills for students. With thanks to helpful Southern Staff especially Matt at the ticket office in Hampden Park who has supported us on a number of trips now. The staff and students have grown in confidence and are now seasoned travellers! A warming stop off at Lewes for hot chocolate all round at The Runaway Cafe.  The GTR led Try a Train is a fantastic learning experience for all involved.

North Laine Christmas shopping

On Thursday 8th December, a variety of North Laine’s stores will be hosting a festive shopping event.

An array of North Laine’s independent stores will be opening their doors for a night of festive shopping. Remember to pop in for a visit to the official adopters of Brighton Station, The Toy and Model Museum on your way! The museum is located under the station in Trafalgar Street a quick way into the North Laines.

The North Laine Christmas Late Night Shopping Event will see stores including; Present in the LaineLavender RoomBadger ClothingSilveradoToby TigerWhirligigNoa NoaPretty Eccentric, Little Beach Boutique & Bluebird Tea Co. stay open until 9pm – allowing shoppers to buy gifts after-hours.

There will also be some fantastic discounts, goodies and bubbly on offer too, along with local choir groups spreading cheer, as you shop – a wonderful way to find one-of-a-kind gifts and feel festive at the same time!

Try a Train with AMAZE

A fantastic learning experience for young people from support group AMAZE with a Try a Train trip to Blackfriars Station and the Tate Modern.

For some this was building on previous work on a short trip to Eastbourne giving more confidence with repeated experiences. The trip was preceded by SCRP education officer Catherine Simmons providing a workshop covering planning a journey and rail safety. The Try a Train scheme is run through GTR and provides disadvantaged groups with the opportunity to build life skills and for some is their first experience of train travel. The scheme also provides an excellent opportunity for Southern staff members to learn new skills and increase their knowledge of accessibility issues.

AMAZE is a charity that gives information, advice and support to families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Brighton & Hove and Sussex. We also support young people with SEND up to 25.



Portslade adopted!

Portslade Station is pleased to welcome Downsview Life Skills College as a new partner.

Downs View Link College (DVLC) is a post-16 college for young people aged 16-19 years, who have additional needs. At Portslade, residents of an assisted living apartment are looking to create a welcome at the station through gardening and artwork.

The Downs View Link College provides a combined three-year course. Following specific training, a number of students come in and go home on public transport each day. The students take part in a diverse range of extra-curricular activities which include the ‘Unified Rhythm’ samba band, visits to the cinema, ten pin bowling and outdoor pursuits and cultural activities. Students also have the opportunity to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

Students also undertake a diverse range of work experience in the community during their 3 year programme. The experience includes running the ‘Fab Cafe’ on the college site on a Tuesday morning for visitors.

We and the station staff look forward to a productive partnership!

A win for Active Travel!

Two years of work encouraging young people to travel independently by rail culminated in a win of third place for ‘Involving Children and Young People’ at the national ACoRP (Association of Community Rail Partnerships) awards last week in Telford.

The work has been undertaken by SCRP Line and Education Officer Catherine Simmons with partners such as Sustrans and Living Streets through the ESCC Active Access for Growth Programme. An area was targeted across East Sussex between Newhaven and Hastings.

At the end of year 2 of the three year programme we have worked with 100 participants from 10 organisations who have traveled over 200 miles between them. With over 20 case studies created and 98% satisfaction with the course we are very pleased with the results so far and are looking forward to the coming year!

If you are in contact with young people aged 11-25 (through perhaps school/college/youth or community group) who might be interested in Independent Train Travel Training please do contact there is still time to fit you in!

A bee friendly corridor?

Greenhavens Network think railways could be!

The network are hosting a Bee Corridor Workshop on the 13th November. 6pm – 9pm (venue to be confirmed). This is part of an agreed project between the landowners and Greenhaven Network members.   We are asking you to come along and give your ideas, expertise etc.  Please see the link below for further information and how we need your help.

Read this fantastic article from Greenhavens Network on our progress at just one of our stations- Bishopstone

Bishopstone station – An Art Deco building, green link and green corridor

BEE-EXIT and the free movement of bees – our Green Corridor workshop!

Falmer wildlife unveiled

Falmer station is buzzing with bright new mural and pollinator-friendly planting

Southern’s Falmer station has been transformed into a bee-friendly haven thanks to new flower beds and an eye-catching mural.

On Friday (13 September), Brighton and Hove Mayor Alexandra Phillips joined Southern staff, Catherine Simmons from the Sussex Community Rail Partnership (SCRP) and Emma Pritchard from The Bee Friendly Trust to officially unveil the bold new mural spanning both sides of the Brighton Amex football stadium footbridge.

Emma commissioned local street artist Rhys (@HarpoArt on  xxx) to create the mural, which was finished this summer. This month, volunteers from The Bee Friendly Trust also completed their bee friendly planting at the station.

Catherine, who has worked with Emma on the project, said: “SCRP are very proud of the end result. It looks fantastic and we hope it will appeal to wildlife and football fans alike. The mural is a great addition to an area, which was frequently tagged and fly-posted. It took two weeks to complete with Rhys working through some of the hottest days this summer. Luckily station staff looked after him by bringing cold drinks.”

Emma added: “The Bee Friendly Trust is absolutely thrilled with the result. The station has been transformed into a bee-friendly haven – and both a beautiful and educational space for train users. The 17 metre-long mural can’t help but lift the spirits, whilst at the same time telling the story of pollination; something brought to life in the buzzing flower border that now runs alongside the platform.”

The platform plants were kindly donated by local businesses and were chosen because they are good sources of year-round forage for bees and other pollinators. They include sedum, lavender, dianthus, rudbeckia, hebe, cyclamen, pansies, viburnum tinus, salvias, penstemon, anemone and lobelia. Gardeners also created a miniature raised bed at the station using pebbles.

Emma added: “Railway stations provide obvious pitstops for bees and other pollinators. By planting them with wildflowers and creating bee-friendly areas, we are building a nationwide pollinator corridor that will not only allow the safe travel of these vital creatures around the country, but also give them much-needed food and shelter. Gardening events such as those which took place on the Govia Thameslink Railway routes this year are a wonderful way of showcasing how valuable these spaces can be, whilst educating and engaging current and future generations around the importance of bees.”

Across the GTR network, a series of gardening events have been taking place this year to create new floral displays and sow wildflower seeds along embankments and where there are green spaces.

For more information about The Bee Friendly Trust, visit


In partnership with

Southern Rail GWR Acorp dft