On Thursday 31 March, employees from VolkerWessels UK joined the wider rail industry and swapped their warm beds at home for the cold floor of a railway station, to help Railway Children raise awareness of those who face hardship every day around the world.
Railway Children works with children and families from across the UK, India and East Africa, who have no-one else to care for and protect them. Their annual Sleepout event helps to raise awareness of the issues and difficulties they face, whilst also raising vital funds.
Over 350 people took part in the event, hosted at eight stations across the UK - from Glasgow Central to London Waterloo - and raised over £157,000 for the charity, with £5,600 raised by VolkerWessels UK employees.
As the headline sponsor for the event, VolkerRail also played a vital role in the events success.
The company’s sponsorship empowering teams from Railway Children - who work across London, the North West, Yorkshire and Birmingham - to take even more referrals from British Transport Police, when they find children at risk on or near railway networks. They are then able to offer counselling and advice and ultimately ensure that these vulnerable young people do not put themselves in danger again.
Commenting on the event, Alan Robertson, VolkerWessels UK CEO, and Sleepout 2022 ambassador, said: “Thank you to everyone involved in this year’s Sleepout 2022. As an industry, it is hugely important that we get together to help shine a spotlight on these important issues. The younger generation is our future, and we must do all we can for children who need extra support.”
“Whilst the event didn’t replicate the situations faced by children, the feedback from those who took part has really helped us better understand the hardship children face when homeless.”
Terina Keene, Railway Children’s CEO, said: “Our annual Sleepout event was another incredible success this year and we can’t thank all those that took part enough. It raised an amazing amount of money, and once again proved how much we can all achieve when we unite the whole rail family for an event like this.
“So many people across the rail industry put themselves through a pretty cold and uncomfortable night to help us reach children around the world that put up with much worse, much more often and thanks to them we will genuinely change hundreds of lives.”
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