This week is Volunteers Week and one organisation who are massively grateful to its volunteers is the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Ann Evans has the details.
To mark the beginning of Volunteers’ Week (1st – 7th June), North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR), has revealed the incredible role played by its own volunteers, who donated over 20,000 hours to support it during the global pandemic.
NYMR is honouring crucial members of its team this Volunteers’ Week and thanking them for their hard work and dedication.
To mark the week-long celebration and raise awareness of the vital role that the volunteers play in the success of one of the UK’s most popular heritage attractions, the NYMR has revealed a number of interesting facts:
- During a normal operating season, the NYMR needs 200,000 volunteering hours – an average of 22 hours per person every month
- 14% of its volunteers have committed more than 20 years to the NYMR
- 15% of them travel over 160 miles to support the much-loved charity
- Over 50% of the volunteers support the Operating Department, ensuring that the NYMR keeps on track
- The Footplate Department is their largest department, with a team of over 210 volunteers carrying out their roles as engine cleaners, fireman and drivers.
- Its second biggest volunteer department is the Motive Power Depot, consisting of 73 regular faces that maintain its fleet of heritage diesel and steam locomotives
- A team of 15 keeps the railways history alive by strategically working with the North York Moors National Park to conserve and manage the wildlife
- During the global pandemic, NYMR volunteers gifted 20,792 hours to support the heritage attraction
- One of the main departments that is rarely seen by passengers is the Permanent Volunteers team. that replace a minimum of one mile of track every year for the railway to ensure that heritage engines operate smoothly
- NYMR has 44 Booking Office volunteers that are integral to offering excellent customer service
The much-loved heritage railway will be joining the campaign’s daily themes and festivities including ‘The Big Lunch’ encouraging its volunteers to celebrate and recognise fellow volunteers and talk to others about their experience volunteering. Branded NYMR Volunteer Week biscuits will be available in the Tea Rooms to mark the occasion.
Marcus Aldrich, Head of Volunteer Development of NYMR said: “Our volunteers are the life and soul of the railway, without whom we simply wouldn’t be able to run. As an organisation, we’re heavily reliant upon volunteers and welcome hundreds of invaluable helpers up and down the line who get involved with a variety of hands-on roles.
“This week is a time to really honour our volunteers and is always a highlight in our calendar. However, the impact of the global pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns has meant that in order for our 2021 season to open and run successfully we needed more support and hands on deck than ever before, so we owe everything to our volunteers for helping keep us on track.”
Volunteering roles at NYMR traditionally involve joining the Traction & Rolling Stock, Catering & Retail, Station, Education, and even Operations and Customer Service teams. Anyone looking to get involved, just visit nymr.co.uk/volunteer or you can become a virtual fundraising volunteer, nymr.co.uk/virtual-volunteers for further information.