Since then, the railway line has been part opened and become a popular local attraction as a part of the Elsecar Heritage Centre. Ran entirely by volunteers of all ages, grant funding of £1,500 from the Combatting Isolation and Community Involvement Fund has enabled the refurbishment of their volunteer mess room.
The railway’s volunteers are essential to maintaining the station and running the engines and carriages. They work with around 150 volunteers of all ages and needs.
Chairman, Andrew Earl said:
“Before the mess room was dirty, damp and leaky. It was a real barrier to volunteering because nobody wanted to use it.
“Now it is so much better. There is more room and it takes a lot of volunteers to run the railway so it is a really important space for us.
“We have a new hand wash sink in, in addition to our kitchen sink. A wood burning stove and knocked down a wall and repainted.
“Keeping the mess room clean and tidy is one of our volunteers jobs so now it’s a job we are much happier to do.”
The newly refurbed volunteer centre not only provides a warm and social environment for volunteers to interact in, it also works as an area for planning activities and engaging with current and new volunteers.
“We have a lot of volunteers to look after, of all ages, physical abilities and some with specialist needs which we need to be aware of. So having a welcoming environment is key to ensuring they are happy, feel a part of the railway and can socialise and rest whilst they are here.”