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The Big Sleepout is back

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VolkerRail has continued its sponsorship of Railway Children’s Sleepout, to help raise awareness and funds, for children who run away from home, and face hardship, with no shelter, or safe space.

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On Thursday 14 March 2024, hundreds of people from across the rail sector will swap their warm beds for the cold floor of railway stations across the country.

Last year’s event was a huge success, with over 360 people sleeping at nine stations across the UK, and raising over £170,000.

Twelve stations are hosting events this year, including Leeds, Glasgow Central, Manchester Piccadilly, Derby, Birmingham New Street, London Liverpool Street, London St Pancras, London Bridge, London Waterloo, and Swansea. So, will you be a sleepout hero?

Railway Children CEO, Rob Capener, said: “Our Sleepout always has a brilliant atmosphere and we’re hoping this year’s event will have a big impact with the help of our supporters and the rail community.

“Working closely with the British Transport Police, we know that hundreds of vulnerable young people are identified on the UK rail network every day. Many are running away from difficult situations at home, being groomed by abusers or exploited by gangs. The challenges children and young people face are more prevalent than ever, with increasing levels of poverty, exploitation, poor mental health, and the lasting effects of the pandemic on their wellbeing and development.

“The Sleepout event is a great way to raise vital funds for our programmes that help us reach children in need of urgent support while increasing awareness of our work with thousands of people who use the transport system every day.”

Andrew Wilkins, finance director at VolkerRail, said: “VolkerRail has, for many years, been supporting Railway Children and the valuable work done to make the lives of countless vulnerable young people much better. We are delighted to be able to continue our support by sponsoring and participating in the 2024 Sleepout.

“I have taken part in all the previous Sleepouts, and whilst it is always a cold, uncomfortable and sometimes noisy experience, with not much sleep. It is also a memorable and uplifting experience, shared with others.

“I am fortunate, as all participants are, to travel back the next day to my warm and comfortable home. Each year, as I travel home, I think of all the young people who spent the previous night sleeping outside – alone, hungry, cold, uncomfortable and often in danger – and who will be doing the same that night. I think about how different their lives are, how fortunate we are, and realise why we support Railway Children.”

To join the Sleepout, all you need to do is choose from one of the 12 venues across the UK and raise a minimum sponsorship of £100.

To find out more, and to register, please visit: https://www.railwaychildren.org.uk/events/the-railway-children-sleepout/

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