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A special train arranged by East Midlands Trains has helped to raise over £37,000 for two charities, with proceeds being split between the Samaritans and Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity in Sheffield.
Ticket sales, a special commemorative brochure and a real ale bar provided by local breweries all helped to contribute to the huge amount raised for the two charities. In addition, East Midlands Trains staff supported the event by donating their day’s wages, or working on their day off, to help raise the maximum amount of money.
Volunteers from Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity also travelled on the train, which ran from St Pancras to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway on Saturday 3 November, and a raffle carried out on the train helped them to raise an additional £960.
Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity’s share of the total money raised will be matched by Sheffield-based not-for-profit organisation, Westfield Health, as part of the charity’s current ‘Do Your Bit’ campaign. The charity is set to benefit from around £25,000 in total as a result of this special trip.
Commenting from Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, Sarah Cross, fund-raiser, said: “We are delighted to be one of the benefiting charities from the Worth Valley Wanderer train journey. We would like to thank everybody who helped raise such a fantastic amount, both the passengers and the staff of East Midlands Trains.
“The money raised from the train journey will go towards providing a new cancer research and treatment suite at Weston Park Hospital which will benefit the lives of thousands of people.”
The Samaritans raised a further £2,800 through a silent auction giving bidders the opportunity to win a footplate ride and a special headboard which was displayed on the front of the Worth Valley Wanderer train.
Catherine Johnstone, Chief Executive at Samaritans, added: “I would like to say a big ‘Thank You’ to East Midlands Trains and their staff for giving up their time to run the special service and for raising such a fantastic sum of money.
“The day is testament to the strong relationships Samaritans has built with the rail industry, and East Midlands Trains, and their staff, in particular, over the past two years since we embarked on our partnership with Network Rail, to help tackle suicides on the railway.”
Pete Glass, Head of Service Delivery for East Midlands Trains, said: “This was a really special day for everybody involved and we are so pleased to have been able to raise such a huge amount for two very worthwhile charities.
“We’ve worked with the Samaritans for a number of years and are fully committed to supporting their work, and feedback from our own employees also showed there was a real strength of feeling towards us supporting Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.
“We’d like to thank all of our partners in helping to make this special train possible and raising so much money for two special charities.”