Kirkdale train station has been turned blue after it was officially adopted by Everton Free School.
Under-23 stars Jonjoe Kenny and Callum Connolly joined students from Everton Free School to help finish off a new Toffees-themed garden at the station.
A group of students from the school have formed a project team alongside staff from Merseyrail to come up with designs and plans as to how best to improve the look and feel of the station for daily commuters and match-goers.
Local lads Kenny and Connolly wasted no time in rolling up their sleeves to join the students in a spot of gardening as well as some renovation work at the station, before they found out more about other station adoption projects that Merseyrail run across Merseyside.
Situated less than a mile from Goodison Park, Kirkdale station is used by over 3,000 Evertonians every home game and the station adoption project will see the Merseyrail station rejuvenated with a blue garden, a new seating area and improved signage.
The adoption of Kirkdale station is just part of the Club and charity’s continued commitment to its work with the Blue Mile surrounding Goodison Park. 2015 saw the Club and EitC appoint a Neighbourhood Manager to enable and assist us in becoming a better neighbour to the 10,000+ residents living in the Blue Mile surrounding Goodison Park. A Premier League first, the role supports the award-winning work of Everton in the Community by linking into our core community surrounding the residential stadium area.
Eight students from Everton Free School first got involved with the project as part of their ongoing work with The Prince’s Trust and the commitment to adopting Kirkdale will see them visit the station on a weekly basis to maintain the garden.
Everton U-23s captain Kenny said: “I’ve used this station many times and a lot of my friends and family use it on a match day when they’re coming to Goodison, so it’s great that it will have an Everton look and feel to it.
“The fantastic work that we do in the community is embedded into us all at Everton and its key for the lads and I to get out as often as possible and get involved in these projects delivered by Everton in the Community and Everton Free School.”
Sally Ralston, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager from Merseyrail, added: “Everton Football Club is at the heart of the local community in this area so it really is fantastic to see them adopting their local train station.
“We run station adoption schemes across the Merseyrail network and many of them are now award-winning stations thanks to the dedication of the incredible volunteers. We hope the new look Kirkdale station will be embraced by local people, both blue and red alike.”
Merseyrail is one of the most punctual and reliable railway networks in the UK and is a community minded, socially responsible business with a proactive contribution to the improvement and well-being of the environment and its local community. The organisation in partnership with Merseytravel has been involved in station adoption projects across Merseyside since the start of the concession in 2003. They now have over two thirds of their 66 stations involved in station adoption schemes or community partnerships. The work undertaken at these stations brings significant benefits to local communities, the local environment and to the rail industry.