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“Community matters to me, as it can build purpose, belonging, and unite people.”

Laura Warwick, Avanti West Coast Team Leader at Runcorn, shares her hopes of bringing community spirit to the Jubilee celebrations.

3 June 2022 

Laura Warwick, Avanti West Coast Team Leader at Runcorn, explains why she’s proud to be leading the train operator’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations and her hopes of bringing a sense of community to this historic milestone.

It is a great honour to coordinate Avanti West Coast’s festivities to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

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Commemorating 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign is a historic event – something many people want to be a part of. With this in mind, and the connection between the railway and Royal Family, Avanti West Coast wanted to play a role in the festivities and create many happy memories for customers and communities.

Working with our team of (Avanti West Coast employees who volunteer to support local charities and initiatives), who have brilliant talents and relationships locally, offers a chance to connect communities and celebrate with the towns and cities we serve.

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The Jubilee is an opportunity for people and communities across the UK to come together, so I wanted our station to play a part in doing that here in Runcorn. The station is small and busy with lots of regular customers. But we want to see new faces. Hosting our Picnic on the Piazza event is a great way to make the station a bigger part of the community, enable us to interact with local people and visitors, and introduce them to the railway. I hope it brings fun, laughter, and a sense of togetherness after a tough couple of years, while raising funds for local charities (Halton Haven, and Halton Skies).

"It's lovely to see the community join together to celebrate the occasion."

Community matters to me, as it can build purpose, belonging, and unite people. They bring connections that can help reduce feelings of loneliness, create new friendships, and assist with health and wellbeing.

Being in a community also offers opportunities for people from all walks of life to meet and share their knowledge. I’ve been lucky to grow up surrounded by a large community and know how much it can help. I would love to bring back community spirit and feel the Jubilee can help kickstart this.

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Preparing our stations’ festivities with locals has been enjoyable. I’ve made lots of connections with local groups, charities, organisations and individuals of all ages. Many of them have offered their time and support - from donations for the charity raffle, to providing entertainment and creating artwork do be displayed. It's lovely to see the community join together to celebrate the occasion.

My family and I have some fond memories of the Queen, so I want to show my appreciation for Her Majesty and recognise the dedication to her role. My dad was a regimental Sergeant Major in the Royal Fusiliers and left to join the Metropolitan Police, where he received a bravery award from the Queen; my brother was a Para; my twin sister, Danielle, was in the Navy; and my brother-in-law, Stewart, is a serving Royal Marine and Drum Major who is involved in the Jubilee celebrations in London. This year is his final year of service, so the Jubilee is especially significant to him.

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I vividly remember the Queen visiting Runcorn to open the Mersey Gateway Bridge. As a station team we were busy decorating the platforms and ensuring everything was in tip-top condition days before the Queen and Duchess of Sussex’s arrival. When they stepped off the Royal Train, local schoolchildren joined us to wave flags – it brought so much joy to the community that day! With my colleagues, and the community I hope to generate that same feeling of joy and bring people together – just like the Queen has done for the last 70 years.

 

Images (Top to bottom): Laura decorates Runcorn station for the Jubilee weekend; Laura prepares to host festivities at Runcorn; Avanti West Coast team at Runcorn get into spirit of Jubilee; Laura brightens up Runcorn with bunting; Laura at Runcorn station.

To find out how Avanti West Coast are marking the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, visit: https://newsdesk.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/news/a-right-royal-time-to-be-had-at-avanti-west-coast-stations-for-the-platinum-jubilee