Harsco Rail has been partnering with the charity Railway Children for the last 12 months and during that time they have helped to raise in excess of £1,500. This money will have significant impact on the work of Railway Children and as an example, this could help to feed more than 200 children with 3 meals a day for an entire week in one of their India based projects.
Corporate Partnerships Manager for Railway Children, Dave Ellis, said: “Our partnerships with corporates within the rail industry are essential to us and it’s been a real pleasure meeting and working with the team at Harsco Rail. Not only have Harsco Rail employees helped to organise and fundraise via some fantastic events and activities, such as golf days, sponsored runs, staff BBQ’s and the annual Christmas meal, they’ve also provided “money can’t buy” raffle prizes for some of our other audiences relating to their core products and services, and these have been really well received.
“In addition, Harsco Rail has been incredibly proactive in helping to open other doors and opportunities for Railway Children within the Rail Industry. This is invaluable to us, and epitomises the true breadth of their support. Railway Children are incredibly grateful to Harsco Rail for their generous support and look forward to continuing to work with them in the future to change the lives of many more children”
Railway Children fights for children struggling to survive alone and at risk on the streets and transport networks of India, East Africa and here in the UK. These vulnerable youngsters face violence, abuse and exploitation and have nowhere to go and no-one to protect them. Railway Children races to reach them before an abuser can, makes them safe and works with families, communities and governments to keep them safe for good. Last year the charity reunited 4,647 children with their families and the support of Harsco Rail and their employees will allow Railway Children to reach even more over the coming months.
In the UK, Railway Children works closely with the Department for Transport and British Transport Police to make sure our rail networks and stations are safe places for the vulnerable children that end up using them. Often these children are running away or are being lured away to meet someone untrustworthy, and the charity now operates a project based in Manchester that takes referrals directly from BTP every time they spot someone they think is at risk. Railway Children’s project workers then follow that up and spend time with the young person and their family to work out what led to them being in that situation in the first place and make sure they don’t put themselves in danger again. This intervention can be the turning point for many children and has been so successful in the North West that the charity has just announced the launch of a second project based in London which will continue to provide much needed support for children just like Emma.
Changing the lives of children like Emma
Railway Children started working with Emma after she was found alone at a UK railway station. The 14-year-old had been reported missing, having run away from school and home. She said she was scared and being bullied. But Emma was in real danger hanging around at the station on her own where predators and abusers are often on the lookout for vulnerable targets.
Emma lives with her dad who has a problem with drugs and her brother who she didn’t get on with. Her difficult situation has led to depression but Railway Children’s project workers have been meeting with her every fortnight to talk about how she is feeling and how she behaves.
Helping Emma understand the danger she has been putting herself in is slowly helping her to change her behaviour and keeping her safe from harm. They’ve also made sure her dad gets support to deal with his drug habit and will keep working with the family until the relationships between them are stronger and safer and Emma doesn’t want to run away again.