If you’re commuting into work from Coventry on the train in the coming weeks, you may encounter a nice surprise on your way in.
A local community group and mental health charity have teamed up with train provider Avanti West Coast to help returning commuters feel more at ease about going back to work, by dishing out treats and advice at Coventry stations.
‘Coventry Acts of Kindness’ is a joint initiative to help returning commuters feel more at east with using the rail network, which will continue to run at a reduced capacity.
Organised by the Heart of England Community Rail Partnership, the scheme will see customers at Coventry, Tile Hill and Canley treated with goodies when arriving to board their train.
There will be a stand with free cookies, brownies and flowers to name a few, for commuters to take, as well as leaflets from Kaleidoscope, a mental health charity in the Midlands.
Using public transport to return to work may feel like a daunting prospect for many, and this is why organisers say the scheme is there to support, guide, and hopefully put a smile on people’s faces.
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The coming weeks will be the first time many commuters will use the train in months, and more physical measures have been put in place to help safeguard against Covid-19.
Julia Singleton-Tasker, community rail officer for the Heart of England Community Rail Partnership said: “Understandably, given recent events, there will be a lot of people who are nervous about travelling by train right now.
“Many may feel overwhelmed or have concerns about getting back on board, so we were delighted that Avanti West Coast got right behind Coventry Acts of Kindness.”
As well as the fun element, members of Kaleidoscope will be on hand to talk to people with any concerns and signpost them to some of the support services available for mental health and well-being, as well as services for those who have been affected by COVID-19.
Joanna Buckley, Community Manager for Avanti West Coast said: “We’re committed to making sure our customers can travel with confidence and have put in lots of extra measures to make our trains and stations even safer.
“But as well as the physical measures, it’s important to acknowledge the human side of the impact the pandemic has had on everyone. That’s why the Coventry Acts of Kindness scheme struck a real chord. It’s a great, and fun way to help reassure customers and hopefully put a few smiles on faces at the same time.”
The gifts have all been sourced from local businesses and include cookies from family run Wicked Cookies, flowers from CreScent florist, and postcards and baked goods from other local businesses.
The Coventry Acts of Kindness stands will visit stations on the following days:
Friday September 4 :Tile Hill station 7am – 10am & 3pm – 5pm and Canley station 7am – 11am
Saturday September 5 :Coventry station – all day
Monday September 7 – Canley station 7am – 11am
Thursday September 10 – Tile Hill and Coventry stations, all day.