Sheppey College Project

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Project Introduction

In September 2018, Kent CRP and Sheppey College met to discussed a variety of ways in which they could work together to provide opportunities for the students to become involved in a number of Community Projects that would provide them with valuable life skills and work experience as well as helping improve all five stations along the Swale Rail Line. Subsequently, 3 projects were set up working with different groups of students to support their course work. This involved working with IT, Business and Construction students.

During the month of October, Kent CRP carried out 6 presentations to 209 students and tutors from the college. This introduced a number of ideas which the students could become involved in. This also included a briefing on how to stay safe around the stations in preparation for the forthcoming station visits.

Travel Training and Station Visits

During a week in November, groups of students have been taken on the train to visit each of the stations on the Swale Rail Line. Students were made aware of the British Transport Police number 61016, how to report concerns and were to find helpful information. Students were tasked with looking at each station and identifying improvements that they could make to encourage passengers to use the Swale Rail Line.


National Community Rail Award 2020

Due to the impact of the project for the students, in September 2019, Landscaping and Travel and Tourism Students were introduced to the project as well and visited the stations to come up with ideas for further station improvements.

The project was recognised in the Community Rail Awards 2020 and achieved First Place in the Involving Children and Young People Category.  In 2021, all departments at Sheppey College will now engage in the project during their Community Weeks.

First Place Community Rail Award Certificate 2020

IT Project 2019/20

The IT students identified that one of the main problems they noticed at the stations was the lack of information available regarding what there was to do nearby or places to visit. As a result the students decided that they would create a promotional video of the area and a website that would provide this information. Click SwaleRail to visit the website or on the image.This information is accessible to passengers who can scan the QR code on the information poster and then visit the website.

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The students have also produced a  fantastic video to help promote tourism to the area and places that people can visit if they are stopping at any of our local stations.

Level 1 IT Students wanted to create some Art work to help develop their photo editing skills. They decided to take photos of the trains at the local station and using photo editing techniques create some fantastic Pop-Art.

Business Project

The Business students wanted to find out much more about what the passengers who used the Swale Rail Line thought about each of the stations. They designed their own survey to collate data which could be used to help plan future developments at the stations. This was fed back to Kent CRP and Southeastern.

Students also designed a range of  raising awareness posters to inform the passengers about key issues. These included the themes of Equality, Mental Health, Addiction and Train Etiquette

Construction Projects

In July 2019, the construction students used their carpentry skills to create bird nesting boxes for Queenborough Station.

In October 2019 based on the feedback from the passenger surveys carried out by the Business students, the Level 2 and Level 3 students created two benches and planters made from sleepers and positioned these on Platform 2 at Queenborough Station.


During 2020/21, while everyone was in lockdown, Sheppey College planned and prepared planter for Sittingbourne Station. As soon as the restrictions were lifted the planters were installed and then planted up by the landscaping team in May 2021.

Planter Sittingbourne Station
Sheppey College Planter at Sittingbourne Station
Planter at Sittingbourne Station with Sheppey College Students

In March 2022, the construction and landscaping departments were able to undertake the Kemsley Project, which had been planned to take place back in March 2020, just before lockdown. The five stations along the Swale Rail Line  are represented by different coloured plants.  Sheerness blue, Queenborough yellow, Kemsley red and Sittingbourne white. Swale Halt is depicted by a large model of the Kingsferry Bridge.

Preparing the ground at Kemsley
Planting in progress in the verge alongside a station platform.
A planted verge alongside a station platform.

Landscaping and Multi-Trade Project

The landscaping and multi-trade students identified a number of potential sites where there were overgrown areas or places were landscaping projects could take place. The front of Queenborough Station was identified as an area that needed a face lift so in July 2019,  and the multi-trade students put their skills to the test to help plant up wellies and create flower beds to add a splash of colour to the station.

In October 2019, the landscapers worked with the Minster on Sea Rotary Club to plant 2000 purple crocus bulbs in a roundel at to help raise awareness of the eradication of the Polio virus. By the end of February 2020 the crocuses had bloomed and brightened up the mound at the entrance to Queenborough station.

Crocus Planting
A display of crocuses on a lawned area in front of Queenborough station

Health and Social Care

The Health and Social Care department were interested in finding out more about accessibility at stations. In April 2021, they interviewed Ruth from the Southeastern Ticket Office at Sheerness to find out about ways to save money when travelling by train and the availability of travel cards and group savings. Members of the public were also interviewed about their opinions on train travel. This was filmed and made into a video, with the support of Phoebe (a student) from the IT department.

Work Experience and Portfolios

One of the main aims of this project is to provide students with the opportunity to showcase their work at and around stations rather than just being completed as part of their course work.

Linking the college work in with the Swale Rail Project allows students to create their work with their community in mind and everything they do will have an impact on their community. This will also help them build up a portfolio of their work that they can use when looking for future employment.

The project has also led to some students carrying out various work experience tasks and placements and providing them with opportunities to develop their skills further and gaining valuable work experience. This took place at Sittingbourne Station.

Station Adoption

At our Stakeholders Meeting in November 2019. Students from Sheppey College showcased their wonderful work they have been doing at our stations. They were also officially present with their station adoption certificates from Southeastern for all five stations on the SwaleRail Line.

Their achievements have also been recognised locally when they were presented with the Kent Under 18s Volunteer Team of the Year Award.

station adoption