Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership (TVCRP) are pleased to announce for the first time they have won a national award for Outstanding Volunteer Contribution.

The national Community Rail Award event organised by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships was held in Telford on 3 October. The Award event showcases the work and varied initiatives of the 68 community rail partnerships and 1000 station adoption groups throughout the United Kingdom.

Having been nominated in four different categories, the Tyne Valley CRP’s nomination of Julie Gibbon for her outstanding volunteer contribution was judged against the work of seven other shortlisted nominees from throughout the country. Julie lives in Bardon Mill and she brings her skills to many organisations in the area.

Julie at the Awards eventJulie’s commitment to the Tyne Valley Railway and the area is evident through the many volunteering roles she undertakes. As well as being a Director and Company Secretary of the Rail Partnership, she has been instrumental in developing new project ideas, finding funding and being involved in delivery of the projects. She made a successful bid to CrossCountry for funding for a Tourism Development Intern project. This gave a student the opportunity to work for the rail partnership, researching use of rail travel and public transport, local attractions and creating the rail partnership’s own Hadrian’s Wall to take to showcase the area at the Community Rail in the City event in Glasgow.   Her most recent initiative to secure funding of £500,000 for redevelopment of the old waiting rooms at Haltwhistle Station has been a challenge but through her tenacity, work will start soon on the buildings. Julie manages the Partnership’s Old Booking Hall at Haltwhistle, which is a valuable meeting room for a number of groups and meetings including a yoga class, meditation group and the Platform Painters. Through her work with Haltwhistle Chamber of Trade the Old Booking Hall hosts a late night shopping event twice a year supporting small businesses and producers.

As well as her work for the rail partnership, Julie is Secretary of the Tyne Valley Rail Users’ Group and of the Campaign to Open Gilsland Station. In addition, her volunteer work extends outside the railway, she is Chair of Haltwhistle Partnership and volunteers for Kielder Water Sailing Club encouraging people to develop skills in sailing. She is also a volunteer for Hadrian’s Wall National Trail. 

Following the announcement of the Award, Julie thanked everyone for their support commenting “it’s not just me, we are a team of many players and I could not have achieved it without you”.

“Julie is very supportive of the local community and the railway. We are very pleased for her, it is well deserved”, said Fiona Forsythe, TVCRP Officer. “We are a very small partnership and this award is a great boost for all of our hardworking volunteers”,