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Rail staff across the country treated rush-hour commuters to a selection of breakfast delights, whilst raising money for children at risk on the streets as part of ‘The Big Breakfast’ event organised by charity Railway Children.Organisations and individuals were invited in May to raise money for vulnerable street children by holding a breakfast-themed event. Staff at East Coast Trains, East Midlands Trains and Virgin Trains each held a number of events at stations across the country and on board their trains to help support the cause. Their creative culinary skills and ingenious fundraising endeavours, as well as the amazing generosity of commuters, raised close to £15,000 in just a few hours for some of the world’s most at risk children.Thousands of children across the world run away or are forced to leave home each year because of unbearable poverty, abuse and neglect. They find themselves living on the streets because there is nowhere else to go and no one left to turn to. The problems they face on the streets are often even worse than those they endured at home.Teams from all three train operators set up fundraising initiatives up and down the country on 9 May, from gourmet breakfast bonanzas to impromptu flash mobs on trains to entertain passengers with song and dance routines in return for contributions towards Railway Children.
David Horne, Managing Director at East Midlands Trains, said: “Railway Children is such an important and worthwhile charity and we are always happy to take part in fundraising initiatives to support their work. Thanks to the culinary skills of some of our staff and the generosity of our passengers, early indicators show that we managed to raise over £2,000 in just a couple of hours.”Steph Oerton, Head of Leaning and Development at East Coast Trains, said: “We’re delighted with the generous support we’ve had from our passengers and hope to raise close to £9,000. Some of our group have sung in public before but for most of us this was a new and fun way to raise money for a very deserving cause.”Anne Grant, Virgin Trains Group Station Manager for the West Midlands,said: “Railway Children deserve great credit for making the Big Breakfast happen, an event Virgin Trains had no hesitation in supporting. We certainly shared a laugh or two with colleagues and customers who joined in with the spirit of the morning. As well as raising close to £4,000, it helped highlight a very serious issue and the fantastic work undertaken by Railway Children.”Katie Mason, Events Manager at Railway Children, said: “All the fundsraised will make a real difference to the lives of children living on the streets. And we are extremely grateful for the support and incredible enthusiasm of all the rail staff that get behind Big Breakfast and make it such a great day.”