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Cake and cookies at Coventry

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An initiative that aims to encourage people back to the railway with welcome gifts, including cakes and cookies, is receiving support from Avanti West Coast.

“Coventry Acts of Kindness”, organised by the Heart of England Community Rail Partnership, will see customers at Coventry, Tile Hill and Canley treated with goodies when arriving at the station.

The project has been backed by Avanti West Coast’s Station Community Fund, which aims to encourage Community Rail Partnerships to develop schemes that involve the local community and benefit passengers using local stations including ones run by Avanti West Coast stations.

The inspiration for the idea came from Julia Singleton-Tasker, community rail officer for the Heart of England Community Rail Partnership. “Understandably, given recent events, there will be a lot of people who are nervous about travelling by train right now,” she said. “Many may feel overwhelmed or have concerns about getting back onboard, so we were delighted that Avanti West Coast got right behind Coventry Acts of Kindness.”

As well as the fun element, members of The Kaleidoscope Plus Group, one of the Midlands’ leading mental health and wellbeing charities, 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 wellbeing, as well as services for those who have been affected by COVID-19.

“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,” explained Joanna Buckley, community manager for Avanti West Coast.

“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.”