EKRT Prepare for Steam (East Kent Railway Trust)
Our Project is called EKRT “Prepare for Steam”.
Lots of volunteers have worked very hard for over twenty years to restore our Mining Heritage Railway which is situated nr Dover, adjacent to the main line station of Shepherdswell .
The next step EKRT want to make is to restore our Steam Loco the St Dunstan that spent most of its working life at nearby Snowdown Colliery.
However, before we return steam to our railway, which is at present a “Hidden Jewel” waiting to be discovered, we need to find enough funding to bring our railway to a higher standard to enable us to cope with the extra volunteers and visitors that are expected by returning steam to our Mining Heritage Railway.
That is one reason that I am hoping you will vote for our project but there is another, just as important reason.
One which I am hoping you will all embrace and will not just convince you to vote for us once on the day but as many as the permitted10 times
Calls are set at 15p only (no profit is made on these calls) so that is just £1.50
What can be worth that many phone calls, what can be worth £1.50? Well it would have to be something worthwhile, wouldn’t it? And I can assure you it is.
Over the past two years, East Kent Railway have been running an Apprenticeship Scheme that has seen over 100 local youths receive training at our railway and ALL of them have moved on into employment in the Rail Industry.
Many of these youth’s come from our local communities who in general, have little prospects of meaningful employment in the local area and for many reasons don’t or cannot travel to find work for themselves. They have grown up in the acceptance that since the coal mines closed in the 1980’s, there has been little work around to replace the lost jobs.
Our main objective is to give them real “Railway Environment Training” at our Mining Heritage Railway and for them to move into worthwhile and well paid jobs, with real opportunities for advancement.
We have found that they are far removed from the “labels” that they are often tagged with.
Once on site, they very quickly get the fact that our training scheme is being run for them, for their benefit, not run for profit, not to use them as cheap labour, not for the benefit of others, but run as an opportunity for them to learn a trade, get employment and in some cases, completely change their lives for the better.
With EKR’s and the Rail Industries, zero tolerance on Drug & Alcohol, we have taken some of these youths, off the streets, who were on the wrong track and given them a chance to turn their own lives around. Some have come back to our site and thanked us, not just for helping them get away from their problems right now but through the knowledge that that could receive random D&A tests at work, on any day, they are now on the right track, hopefully for life.
Binge drinking is a thing of past for them, as although the wages very good, the unsocial hours that are associated with this employment is not conducive with heavy drinking, so they are changing their habits and seeing the importance of being part of a community.
Many of these youth have already passed their Level 2, NVQ in Railway Trackside Engineering and are in well paid jobs and are enjoying having a meaningful place in the communities where they live and those communities are now beginning to feel the benefits from having these youth’s living amongst them.
Finding employment for over 100 of these youth has seen approx. £2million being injected into the local community over the last 2 years and you do not need me to tell how great that is and what kind of impact that this is having on their social and economic environment.
Your votes, your £1.50, pledged for our project at EKR, will allow us to continue taking on batches of 12 young local people, or more and give them a chance to turn their lives around.
We are not short of candidates and with the vast amounts of investment, to the tune of £35Billion over the next 5 years in the Rail Industry; we are not short of placements.
Most of the work that we will be able to carry out at EKR, if we win this year’s Peoples Millions, will be undertaken by our Trainees and will help secure their future and the future of those, yet to get the chance.
Now it’s up to you, please vote for our project and help us to help our local youth with Training and Employment?
From our past, we can build a future.