Always the most fiercely contested category at the Heritage Railway Association Awards, the Lord Faulkner Award for Young Volunteers had no fewer than five finalists this year. The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway 19-year-old trustee and guard Oliver Harrison took the top honour this year for his excellent abilities as a role model for other young people joining the railway.
Matthew Stroh, Chairman of The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway Society, said:
Despite being only 19 years of age, Oliver is already an established volunteer as a steam locomotive fireman and train guard. Whilst his operational volunteer achievements are impressive enough, Oliver has gone above and beyond by proving his commitment and enthusiasm through his election to the main charity Trust Board, making him our youngest Trustee director by some margin. He has taken on the brief for the Railway’s membership journal, Push and Pull, which will ensure its development is relevant to future generations of volunteers and members.
Oliver already demonstrates a professional maturity and desire to help secure the future of the Railway for future generations. He is an excellent role model for others who have joined the railway through our “Young Person’s Group”, and I am sure he will now be the first of many from his generation to contribute directly to the railway’s strategy, helping us to become more inclusive and relevant. Seeing his contribution recognised by the national industry body, the Heritage Railways Association is a great accolade and recognition of what Oliver has achieved.