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A team of volunteers from across the rail industry have joined forces to raise a total of £2,337.92 for the Samaritans, following a dedicated fund-raising day at St Pancras station on Thursday 13 March.
Volunteers from East Midlands Trains, Network Rail, First Capital Connect, First Great Western, London Midland, British Transport Police and Samaritans were at the station throughout the day helping to raise awareness of the Samaritans’ work and raise much-needed funds for the charity.
Passengers travelling through the station were able to see the team also taking part in a ‘cycle challenge’, whereby volunteers took turns to cycle as far as they could on three static bikes. In total, the team covered 610 miles throughout the day, the equivalent of travelling between Derby and Portsmouth three times!
Darren Ward, Head of Operations Strategy for East Midlands Trains and organiser of the event, said: “It was a really special day for everybody involved and we got some great support from passengers travelling through St Pancras. The team of volunteers were fantastic and with their support, we managed to raise far more money than expected and help to raise awareness of the great work of Samaritans. I’m really proud to have been involved in such a worthy event, and credit must been given to all the volunteers from right across our industry who made the day such a success.”
Rachel Kirby-Rider, Samaritans’ Executive Director of Fundraising and Communications said: “Congratulations to everyone involved in the cycling challenge. Our work with the rail industry is something which is really valuable and last week’s event was an example of the commitment shown by everyone involved. Our volunteers answer millions of calls for help every year, and funds generated from this event will allow us to continue to deliver our round the clock support to anyone struggling to cope.”
Justin Page, Area Director for Network Rail, said: “Our partnerships with the Samaritans and East Midlands Trains are making vital improvements to how we help vulnerable people who come onto the railway. We had a really successful event at St Pancras last week and hope that it will help to further increase awareness of the support which is available.”
On top of the money raised on 13 March, a further £450 has been pledged in participant sponsorship and a total of over £605 has been raised through the dedicated fundraising website, www.justgiving.com/SamaritanBikers, where donations can still be made.
Samaritans delivers award-winning training programmes to rail industry staff. One course helps front line rail employees develop the skills and confidence to recognise and approach a person who may be experiencing suicidal feelings. The other course focuses on trauma support, providing managers with the tools to help colleagues who have been involved in a traumatic event. East Midlands Trains’ staff have benefitted from both courses, with direct evidence of lives being saved as a result.
Samaritans is available round the clock on 08457 90 90 90 or by emailing email@example.com. For more information about Samaritans or the Network Rail partnership visit www.samaritans.org.