Southern's outgoing Station Manager for Littlehampton, Arundel, Horsham and other stations along the Arun Valley*, has been recognised for his 10 years of dedicated support for the Aldingbourne Trust, a charity which supports adults with a learning disability.
The trust works with Southern to provide beautiful flower displays across 30 different stations on the West Coastway and Brighton Mainline. Southern donates funds to help the group undertake this work, providing the opportunity for those involved to develop their confidence and life skills. Without this joint work, many of them would simply stay at home.
Ben, one of the members of the group, presented station manager Jim Cumming with a 'thank you' card, plus two flower-filled planters, in recognition of everything he has done to support the group over the decade they have worked together.
Ben said: "We are sad it's Jim's last day with us but thank him every so much for all his service over the years."
Patti, one of the group's co-ordinators, added: "We are going to miss Jim so much. He's made such a difference to so many lives over the years that we can't thank him enough."
Jim said: "It's been a true pleasure working with all over the Aldingbourne Trust over the years and I thoroughly appreciate everything the group does to improve the experience at our stations."
The partnership between Southern and the Aldingbourne Trust started over 10 years ago with the trust tending flowers at just three stations, including Arundel. Over the years, as they have continued to showcase their work, and often at the request of local station managers, they have expanded their reach to cover more and more stations. While many of the station managers involved have changed over the years, Jim has always been the key point of contact for the group, going out of his way to support their efforts.
Jim is moving on to work as a station manager at Brighton station. Steve So, an experienced station manager from the Hove area, has taken over from Jim and will work with the trust in the years to come.
*Jim's stations along the Arun Valley were: Amberley, Arundel, Barnham, Billingshurst, Christ’s Hospital, Crawley, Faygate, Ford, Horsham, Ifield, Littlehampton, Littlehaven, Pulborough
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:
- Thameslink – services between Bedford and Brighton, Luton/St Albans and Sutton, Wimbledon and Sevenoaks
- Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
- Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
- Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria
GTR is the largest rail franchise in the UK in terms of passenger numbers, trains, revenue and staff. The operator carries about 326 million passenger journeys per year, and employs around 6,500 people. Its aim is to improve services across all four networks.
Southern has the fastest passenger growth in the UK with numbers into London having doubled in 12 years - compared with the industry as a whole doubling over the past 20 years. Passenger numbers on GTR's other routes have also seen huge growth - at King's Cross they have increased among all operators combined by 70% in 14 years.
GTR has introduced more new trains in the past year than all other franchises put together, with 500 new carriages so far.
GTR's transformative RailPlan 20/20 modernisation programme incorporates the £7bn Thameslink Programme which will bring hundreds more daily services, increasing the number of trains though the central London core from up to 15 to 24 trains per hour. Network Rail has also launched a £300m programme to improve resilience across the GTR network.
Under RailPlan 20/20, GTR is modernising how it works, with new technology in use at our stations and on our trains, smartcard ticketing and a new, flexible on-board role on many Southern services. This ensures fewer cancellations, and with more staff on board our trains now than ever before, passengers are enjoying a much better level of on-board customer service.
The GTR investment programme for stations includes funding for more CCTV, toilet refurbishments, new retail facilities, help points and car park improvements – as well as plans for increased motorcycle storage and improved transport integration.