A group of student leaders from Richmond School and Sixth Form College have taken part in a focus group project with The Station, which has resulted in some of their ideas being taken on board.
Year 11 and Year 13 students spent time with Chris Brown, general manager, to discuss how they currently use the facilities at The Station, what they felt could be improved, and their ideas for new initiatives that may attract more young people to the iconic community hub in Richmond.
Chris said: “I was most impressed with how mature and confident the students were.
“We were blown away with the very considered, realistic and exciting ideas they put forward, not only to attract more people of their age group to The Station but suggestions that would also be of interest to a much wider audience and demographic, offering multi-generational appeal.
“Our open and free discussions generated some great proposals as well as a wealth of information to draw on in the future.
“It is also fantastic that this led to the notable contribution by Natalie Muxworthy and Jack Riddlestone, in Year 11, who have been a credit to the School in offering their time to volunteer at The Station and give back to the community.
“It is so important that we continue to research, review and refresh our offering at The Station to ensure we continue to meet the demands of our customers.
“Whilst we know that many of our products are extremely well-received and will stand the test of time, there is always room to enhance and improve as consumer tastes and needs evolve.
“Going forward, we aim to continue with these relationships and build stronger ties with more students by implementing more of the ideas from the focus group to further broaden the appeal of The Station.”
Projects that are already underway from the results of the students’ feedback include an event around plants.
The students suggested a plant stall or a dedicated activity, explaining that young people were reconnecting with nature and found that having plants around them in the home was really positive for their mental wellbeing.
The venue is now planning to host a plant fair in the future.
Natalie, in Year 11, said: “When I went to the Station for the focus group, I thought they would just ask us about what we liked about the Station as teenagers, but then they started asking us about what we’d like to see specifically going on there, and what we thought made the Station less popular with Richmond teenagers.
“It definitely made me more inclined to go and visit now that I’ve seen how much effort they are putting into making it an attractive space for people my age.
“I also liked the way they took our feedback and I am really excited to go to some of the events we talked about.
“Being part of the research group also inspired me to become a volunteer at The Station which I am really enjoying.”