STALYBRIDGE STATION is transformed for three weeks into community hubs as part of the Platforms For All project.
Spaces at the station will be used for a range of free activities in a bid to benefit passengers and the local communities.
The transformation started on the 1st of December and it will continue until the 22nd of December.
The events lined up include arts exhibitions and classes, community gym sessions, mental health awareness sessions, debt advice workshops and Christmas stalls.
James Stanley, Communications Officer at Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “We identified Stalybridge as a good place to pilot the project as they had a space to use as a community room.
“This project is a pilot. We will be seeing how it works before planning to use it at other stations.”
Platforms For All
Platforms for All, Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) project, aims to transform the city-region’s stations into community hubs by connecting them to social enterprises.
This innovative partnership-based project is set to enhance the stations, stimulate local pride, and create a sense of community ownership.
Stations will be used as cultural spots by hosting art exhibitions and performing arts, as well as, provide health and well being services.
Other benefits include multi-use venues and facilities for rail users and the wider community to enjoy while commuting. Needed services and opportunities for development will make their presence, as well.
A specific focus is on volunteering and pride by running accessible activities to the community, confronting social deprivation and social exclusion.
The social enterprises delivering the project include: Social Adventures, Fighting Fit, Big Issue North, Global Grooves and Ostrich Debt Advice.
Leon Patel, CEO at Global Grooves, said: “Currently many stations are underused and many assets are simply not being used to their best ability.
“We want to ensure that these assets and opportunities are utilised to their maximum capabilities in a sustainable and accessible model that supports and complements the dwindling public service available to our communities.”
Global Grooves are responsible for the development of the arts and cultural elements that will be offered in the stations. This includes displays of public art bringing high quality locally produced art works into train stations to reach audiences that may not attend a ‘regular’ public gallery. Also, they will be offering free music, arts performances and workshops.
Leon added: “Culture, health and social enterprise are perfectly placed to find creative and sustainable uses for the public spaces at the stations.
“We believe that this is much more valuable to our local community and economy of the local areas we work in than traditional uses for the stations.”
Jay Cahill, Chief Executive at Fighting Fit, said: “We think that the convenience of being at the station before or after your travel will allow more people to fit it in to their busy schedules.
“Many people want to change their lifestyle but don’t know how to, where to begin or feel like it’s too difficult. We want to demonstrate that just sticking to a few small changes can make a massive difference.”
Fighting Fit is currently offering 1:1 Jump Start to Well-being consultations at no cost. These sessions will assess lifestyle, nutrition and activity.
By the end of the session, a participant will have set specific, achievable and time related goals and have a way to move towards these with support.
If you would like to visit, find the Platform for All agenda here.