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BTC and West Somerset Railway Commemorate Garden Revitalisation

BTC and West Somerset Railway Commemorate Garden Revitalisation

Foundation Learning students at Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) recently attended an event dedicated to celebrating their revitalisation of Watchet Train Station, held and operated by West Somerset Railway (WSR). 

Students from BTC have worked collaboratively with WSR over the past few years, including refurbishing Watchet station’s garden and green spaces. Due to their hard work and dedication, an event was held by West Somerset Railway, where the students were commemorated with a plaque alongside the reveal of their flowerbed. 

The West Somerset Railway, established in 1862 as part of the Bristol and Exeter Railway, has a storied past as a vital transportation link in the county of Somerset. Initially serving as a crucial route for goods and passenger traffic, the line transitioned into a beloved heritage railway in the latter half of the 20th century. 

Despite facing closure, it was revived through volunteer efforts in the past, and has since become one of the country’s premier heritage railways. 

BTC and their students are honoured to be a part of a project on this prestigious piece of Somerset’s history. 

Kerry Noble, General Manager, West Somerset Railway, said, “It has been great to be able to celebrate and honour the fantastic work that has been achieved though the collaborative working of the College and the railway. The commitment shown by the students and their tutors, turning out in all weathers, has been amazing.

The volunteers at Watchet have provided the students with a welcome environment for them to gain key life skills. I hope the partnership will continue for many years, bringing many more young people to the railway to understand about the heritage of the West Somerset.” 

Ali Stokes, Course Leader, said, “The joy this project brings to all is truly inspiring. I am so proud of everyone who has joined our journey. The students are continuously developing their life skills, and this WSR volunteering has also given them the opportunity to prepare for a future Duke of Edinburgh Award. It’s been amazing, hard work and great fun. I absolutely loved it, and both the staff and students were amazing to be around.”

This was a crucial element toward the Foundation Learning programmes’ recent accolade as a Beacon Awards Winner, which recognises the glaring disparity in employment opportunities for individuals with learning disabilities.

For more information on future events and BTC’s multitude of educational offerings, please visit www.btc.ac.uk or get in touch with the Information & Advice team by emailing [email protected].

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