'A Spotter Tea' makes passengers day

A community enterprise at Kidsgrove station is celebrating its first anniversary and winning praise from rail passengers.

‘A Spotter Tea’ is a community café facility, open in the station Booking Hall during the morning peak, which provides a drinks and snacks service for Kidsgrove passengers.

The facility has been warmly welcomed by passengers, with 100% of those surveyed during a 2-month trial period to the end of December 2014 giving it 10 out of 10 and requesting it stay as a permanent service.

Top feedback especially was given to Kath Keeling, the Kidsgrove resident who runs ‘A Spotter Tea’ at the station, for her “excellent service” and “lovely smiles”.

The café was set up as a community enterprise by North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership (NSCRP) with support and funding from East Midlands Trains (EMT) and a grant from the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP).

Faye Lambert, Project Manager for NSCRP said: “Kidsgrove is a significantly growing station with 196,000 passengers a year and many had told us they would welcome a snack facility for their morning commute or shopping trip.

“In developing the project, we wanted to build on the strong community involvement, for example, the support of the station volunteers, which already benefits the station hugely. Through Kath, ‘A Spotter Tea’ is run by the community for passengers, and it has made Kidsgrove an even more welcoming station.”

‘A Spotter Tea’ was awarded a national Community Rail award by ACoRP in 2015 for providing an improved service to passengers.

Kath, a former Moorcroft Pottery painter, said: “I love being part of ‘A Spotter Tea’. I was made redundant in 2014, and this project really has changed my life. I’ve been made to feel part of the team by the station staff, and the passengers, and its great sharing a smile and a laugh with them and hearing their news.”

Jason Cocker, Area Station Manager for East Midlands Trains, said: “This is a great facility and one that we are very proud to have at Kidsgrove. Kath is doing a fantastic job at the station and we know from the feedback from customers that a Spotter Tea is really valued. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Kath on her first anniversary and thank her for her support at Kidsgrove.”

A Spotter Tea is open at Kidsgrove station Monday-Friday from 0700 to 1000 and on Saturdays from 0800 to 1200, serving fresh coffee drinks and teas, a variety of snacks and cold drinks, plus homemade oatcakes on Saturdays.


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