The Junior Volunteers Group provides volunteering opportunities for young people aged 10 to 15. We currently have over 50 Junior Volunteers on our books. They are supported by a team of adult supervisors together with a team of Assistant Supervisors who were Junior Volunteers but have now reached the age of 16.

In the Junior Volunteers we have three groups, these consist of around 15 Juniors each, with about 12 attending each session. Each squad or group meets once a month from April to October, except for July when six days of activities are organised, including social gatherings. In addition, each month further sessions are run as more urgent jobs arise.

Junior Motive Power Department (MPD) Group

This group deals with all things related to the MPD. We help out with tasks that the shed staff needs completing, from fencing up to cleaning locomotives. If you’re interested in helping out in the shed or moving onto the footplate, this is the group to join! The MPD group is for Juniors 13+.

Saturday Squad and Sunday Squad

These squads are held on a Saturday or Sunday. The members go all around the railway doing whatever needs to be done, be it fencing, concreting, painting, you name it. Both squads are open to Juniors 10+.

What can this lead onto?

The Junior Volunteers Group can help young people progress onto all parts of the railway. We have plenty of roles that can suit everyone, a few examples being:

  • Operating Department (Travelling Ticket Inspectors, Guards & Signalmen)
  • Footplate Department (Cleaners, Firemen & Diesel/Steam Drivers)
  • Engineering (Loco maintenance and rebuilding, Carriage refurbishment & Wagon rebuilding)
  • Commercial Department (Catering, Shop sales & Customer Services)

Moving On

Since the Junior Volunteers Group was started in 2008 several people have found employment in the railway sector. In addition, one person has just started pre-apprenticeship training and two more people are currently working at NYMR on day release from college. One young man earns money part-time firing on the main line for two loco operators. He has fired several locos including Flying Scotsman twice.

On reaching 16, a good number stay on NYMR as full volunteers. Since we started in 2008, one has progressed to driver, one to fireman, several have started at the MPD as loco cleaners, one is a guard, one is in guard training, four have become travelling ticket inspectors (TTI) plus one assistant TTI, one is a station foreman with one in training and one passed out as a booking clerk.

Whatever and wherever our Junior Volunteers move onto when they reach 16 we are confident that they have learned to volunteer their time in a good cause, have learned a range of skills, made friends and helped NYMR to achieve its goals, including keeping the railway maintained and running.

Junior Volunteer Week

Members of the MPD Group and the Saturday and Sunday Squads take part in Junior Volunteers Week at the end of July. They work at various locations along the line, as well as at stations and on the trains. The wide range of activities on offer includes, MPD work, carriage cleaning, fencing, TTI, guarding, catering, retail, and signal maintenance. The Junior Volunteers are trained and supported by a team of Supervisors and Assistant Supervisors together with staff and other volunteers who all help to make the week a worthwhile experience.

Check out our 2017 Junior Volunteer Week Report. Please note that there may be a waiting list for each group.


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