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News Report Page 7 of 13
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Merseyrail's Ainsdale Station scoops top sustainability award

Ainsdale train station has been awarded a top sustainability award for community involvement in the lead up and during the refurbishment project last year. Merseyrail was crowned winner of the CEEQUAL Exceptional Achievement Award in the Community and Stakeholder Relations category alongside designer Owen Ellis Architects and contractor Morgan Sindall. The Station is the most environmentally friendly on the network after extensive renovations completed back in July 2018. The previous booking office was demolished to make way for a new building, complete with solar panels, low energy LED lighting with smart controls and rainwater harvesting tanks to serve the toilet facilities. The refurbishment was funded by Merseytravel and Network Rail and Judges were impressed with the team, which they said:- "went way beyond in delivering the details for the community," and praised the project for providing "a message to industry on looking for win wins of delivering multiple outcomes in 1 project."

The local community was involved from the outset to ensure that the station was exactly what the village needed, and views and issues raised were taken into account and presented as part of the proposed overall solution. Changes in the design of the tower and road marking alternations to prevent overflow parking were incorporated following concerns from nearby residents, while the local community was kept informed of progress and consulted throughout the construction phase. In addition, the station was kept open during the redevelopment programme, ensuring passenger disruption was kept to an absolute miniMum.  The award win comes after Merseyrail achieved a supply of electricity that is 100% generated from renewable schemes.

Andy Heath, Managing Director at Merseyrail, said:- "Ainsdale station is a fantastic part of our network and something that represents our commitment to both the community and the environment. To be recognised for the hard work all partners put into providing the community with a station that works for them with better technology, facilities and an overall improved experience is fantastic. Merseyrail is working hard to be as environmentally friendly as possible and will continue to do so in the coming years."

Mum of 2 breaks through mental health

A mature student and Mum of two is helping improve not only her future career prospects, but also her mental wellbeing thanks to taking the bold step to enrol and successfully complete a course at Hugh Baird College. Samantha Williams, from Walton, recently completed an NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration course that has not only enabled her to move on to University level study but has opened up a range of career opportunities and helped her on a more personal level. Prior to enrolling at the College, Samantha battled with mental health issues, as a result of negative memories and experiences of education. She suffered feelings of low confidence, self doubt and was unsure of which direction to take. Samantha decided to visit a Hugh Baird College Open Evening where she met with tutors and had a conversation with 1 of the College's highly qualified and impartial Careers Advisors. Samantha said:- "I always had a dream to have a career and I could envisage the person I wanted to become, but I just didn't believe in myself. I'd experienced bullying in School and I think this played a major part in the issues I suffered in later life. On some days, I couldn't leave the house and was paralysed by anxiety and over thinking things.  Being a Mum to two beautiful children made me realise that my behaviours weren't setting the right example to my kids. I feared that they would develop the same problems I had and that was the last thing I wanted. I wanted them to see their Mum being focussed and driving towards bettering herself.  It wasn't easy for me to even go to the Open Evening at the College, but with support from family members I made it there and my journey started. The staff at the College were absolutely amazing and took the time to listen to my story and worked with me to help me overcome any hurdles I faced.  I enrolled on to the Business Administration course, met my classmates and teachers and we were all given information on the outstanding student support that was available to us all at the College. All this really made me believe that I could do it and that people actually wanted me to be a success."

Within weeks of starting the course, Samantha's confidence grew quickly. It was at this point that she felt moved to write a letter to the College describing the positive impact coming to College had made on her and her family's lives. In the letter, she explained how she was now able to stand up and speak in front of people and how she couldn't wait to get out of bed in the morning to come to College. Juggling College work and home life was challenging for Samantha, but her focus and determination to achieve helped her to excel. She soon became a great support to others in her class and began to demonstrate excellent leaderships skills. Week upon week, Samantha was producing work to an excellent standard, giving her the confidence to seek an opportunity to work voluntary within a large local organisation.  Sharon O'Brien, Hugh Baird College Business Tutor, said:- "I remember when Samantha joined the College, she was a completely different person than she is now. She has overcome so much and we are all extremely proud of her."

For more information on Business courses, at Hugh Baird College, please visit:- HughBaird.AC.UK or alternatively please call:- 0151 353 4444.

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