Adopt a station

The Adopt a Station programme is one of the most popular ways people volunteer with us.

Traditionally many stations were famous for their gardens – often created and managed by local station staff to greet the travelling public.

Volunteers at Kilpatrick station

More recently local community volunteers across the country have become involved in undertaking work to improve the physical environment of many stations. This work has included activities such as planters, station gardens, information boards and much more. Currently more than 250 ScotRail stations and over 1,000 volunteers are now part of Adopt a Station​ across the country.​

Who adopts?

Our adopters are as varied and unique as our stations and include individual volunteers, local community groups, charities, schools, businesses and local organisations such as the NHS.

How to get involved:

Register interest

If you are interested in station adoption the first thing you need to do is register interest by email: [email protected]

Include:

  • Your name, address and contact telephone number
  • Name of the station you're interested in adopting or becoming involved with
  • Whether you're part of a group or applying as an individual

What's in it for you?

The garden is your pride and joy. We want people to know it’s your achievement and will display your group or business name on the planters.

We'll invite you to station adoption events periodically. Here you can meet like-minded individuals, share your ideas and successes, and get useful hints and tips on relevant subjects such as biodiversity.

We hope that praise from customers and staff will be rewarding, and give you and your team a sense of pride in the work you're doing for your community. But your hard work will be rewarded through the ScotRail Deal too. It's our way of saying thank you.

Aberdour station platform with hanging baskets

Celebrate success

  • Social media is one of the easiest ways to share what you're doing. Use your own social media accounts and, where we can, we’ll help share your stories too.
  • Local media – local newspapers and radio stations are usually on the lookout for good news stories.
  • ScotRail in the Community Awards - awards are held to celebrate your hard work and dedication over the year. Awards include: Adopt a station of the year, Adopt a station volunteer, CRP Volunteer and CRP Project of the Year. We encourage and welcome all volunteers to apply. For more information and to send applications, contact us at [email protected].

ScotRail in the Community Awards, 2020

For 2020, our awards went virtual. We enjoyed a wonderful afternoon celebrating our volunteers. You can find out more about this year's winners here and by watching the video below.

Community Volunteers hours logging record

Please use this form to log how many hours you have volunteered:

We take our volunteers’ safety very seriously.

We'll go through each of these points at the safety briefing before you start. It's important you read and adhere to the guidelines for your own safety and the safety of our customers and staff. And just ask us if you have any questions.

Every time you volunteer

You must:

  • Sign in at the booking office, or by using the Help Point (if you’re volunteering at an unstaffed station) as soon as you arrive at the station
  • Wear your hi-viz orange vest at all times when carrying out station adoption duties. If you lose your vest, email [email protected] and we'll order a replacement. Don’t be tempted to carry on volunteering without one – no vest means no volunteering at the station
  • Listen to any instructions from station staff – they're responsible for ensuring our stations are working effectively and customers (as well as volunteers) are safe
  • Never be under the influence of alcohol or drugs whilst carrying out station adoption duties
  • Never go on the track or venture beyond the end of the platform

Equipment

Be aware of all the potential hazards that could impact on your ability to volunteer safely:

  • Where the line is electrified, you (and any tools or equipment you're using) must stay at least 3 metres away from the overhead wires
  • Don't place tools or equipment within 2.5 metres of the platform edge
  • You must wear a hard hat when you're working under structures less than 2 metres high.
  • You must wear safety glasses or goggles when you're working above head height and if there's a risk of splashing
  • You must always wear safety footwear and gloves
  • Don't use hoses or pressure washers – carry water in an appropriate container and clean up any spillages immediately
  • Take all rubbish away with you at the end of each session, and don't leave any debris on the platform

General safety information

Do your plans involve minors or people with special needs? You must provide a comprehensive method statement detailing the control measures in place to ensure their safety and supervision. A number of our stations are maintained by school groups and mental health charities, so if you need any advice we can put you in touch with an experienced station adopter group.

If you want to plant any flowerbeds (involving digging in the station grounds), check with a member of the station adoption team before you begin. We'll make sure the ground is suitable for planting.

If you or one of your group has an accident while on our premises, report this to a member of staff straight away. If you're working at an unstaffed station, use the Help Point on the platform to contact us. The information you provide will be kept confidential and will help us ensure a safer environment for everyone.

Always...

  • Be prepared to give your name and the reason why you’re there
  • Ensure that you don’t create anything that can cause an obstruction
  • Observe basic safety rules when using hand tools; e.g. rakes and forks are standing up when not in use, secateurs are left in a locked position
  • Comply with instructions on vehicle parking
  • Stop your work if requested by a railway official
  • Report any accidents to ScotRail immediately
  • Get the correct permission from ScotRail before undertaking any work at a station
  • If you're taking photos on our stations, let our staff know what you're doing and check if customers are happy to appear in the pictures.

ScotRail

Adopt a Station
Atrium Court
50 Waterloo Street
Glasgow G2 6HQ​

[email protected]

Network Rail

National helpline: 03457 11 41 41

Biodiversity toolkit

Click the image below to download the Biodiversity toolkit PDF for Adopt a Station volunteers from Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Keep Scotland Beautiful Biodiversity toolkit cover for Adopt a Station volunteers