A group of people attending the big sleepout for the Rail Way Children

Big Station Sleepout raises over £150,000

On Thursday 14 March, over 400 inspiring people spent a cold and uncomfortable night on the floors of railway stations across the UK to raise money and awareness of the situation faced by children night after night, who have run away or are forced to leave homes.

Andrew Wilkins, VolkerRail's finance director said: “Thank you so much to everyone who took part, and to everyone who has donated to this very well deserving cause. Whilst a night in a train station won't replicate the situation faced by children, it does highlight some of the conditions.

Now in its fifth year, The Big Station Sleepout is an annual event run by Railway Children, a national charity that supports vulnerable children who are alone and at risk on the streets and at transport hubs in India, Tanzania and the UK. These children will have become homeless due to poverty, neglect, abuse or exploitation, finding themselves with nowhere to go, and no one left to turn to. Railway Children aims to reach these children as soon as they arrive on the streets, to stop any further harm.

VolkerRail has sponsored The Big Station Sleepout since 2020, helping Railway Children raise over £750,000. This year’s event has raised a staggering £152,500, a figure that continues to rise, as more money is received through donations, meaning the charity will be able to reach even more children and families who need their support.

“The Big Station Sleepout is a huge eye opener for people. Yes it is always a cold, uncomfortable and sometimes noisy experience, with not much sleep, but it is also a memorable night that really makes you feel like you’re making a positive impact.”

Rob Capener, Railway Children CEO, said: “It was great to see a record number of people taking part in the Big Station Sleepout this year. Each year, the event brings people together for a night which – while uncomfortable – is a great chance to raise money and raise awareness of the issues that affect thousands of vulnerable children and young people around the world who have no-one to protect them and nowhere to turn. A huge thank you to our sponsors, VolkerRail, for helping make this event possible.”

VolkerRail and VolkerFitzpatrick The Big Sleepout 2024 (5).jpg