Over 500 cups of tea and coffee and countless traybakes have already been served at the Wee Train Café at New Cumnock Station since it opened in May, the ScotRail Alliance said today.
Despite being a new kid on the block, the café, which is largely staffed by 16-25-year-olds, has firmly established itself as a popular meeting place for locals and train customers alike.
East Ayrshire Carers Centre oversees its operation and the young volunteers, who gain customer service, hospitality and business skills, are supported by the group.
The ScotRail Alliance’s Head of Economic Development James Ledgerwood said: “Making our stations community hubs rather than just somewhere to board a train is an important part of our ScotRail in the Community work.
“As well as providing opportunities to learn workplace skills for the young volunteers, the Wee Train Café is also a source of great locally-produced refreshments. What could be better than that?”
As well as the café, East Ayrshire Carers Group has also adopted the station and looks after the flower planters on the platforms. Joint Chief Executive Officer Fiona Pirrie said: “We support our young carers in many ways and it’s important for them to have some time away from their caring duties meeting other people and learning new skills.
“And, of course, everyone likes a cuppa and some home baking. Whether you’re waiting for a train or you’re local and fancy meeting some friends for coffee, this is now a popular venue on the doorstep for locals.”
New Cumnock native Dale McTaggart (19) has been volunteering in the Wee Train Café since it opened and he enjoys integrating with customers: “I’m proud to see the village doing so well and along the way I’m gaining food handling skills and meeting new people.”