“Together we will make a difference”, CEO of Railway Children on the launch of Rail Aid

COVID-19 has destroyed lives and livelihoods across the world and the impact is devastating for millions of children.

This week (from Sunday, November 22, to Friday, November 27) the UK rail industry will unite to change lives, with incredible stories, entertainment, games and prizes.

Rail Aid brings together the railway family of train operators, Network Rail, British Transport Police, suppliers, businesses around the rail network and anyone with an interest in the industry.

It’s been set up to help the Railway Children charity to give life-changing support to street children in the UK, India and Africa.

Terina Keene, CEO of the charity, has written an article for railbusinessdaily.com about the importance of the fundraising and the overwhelming support received so far.

“I am amazed and humbled at the incredible response the event has had from across the rail industry. This has been such a hard year for everyone – and all of our lives have been affected by this pandemic – but still so many people have pledged their support for Railway Children and the children we help, despite facing their own difficulties. It’s truly heart-warming to see the reaction from across the rail family and together we really will make a difference.

The children we work with really do need us now more than ever. In the UK they are some of the country’s most vulnerable young people – and the impact of the virus has only magnified their problems. Many already suffered with poor mental health, but that has been made worse by the extra stress and anxiety surrounding the current situation.

Some of the children we know have difficult, often turbulent home lives. Being forced to stay at home, when they do not always feel safe there, has been terrifying for them. Others rely on outside agencies, extended families and networks of friends for support and that support has been taken away, leaving them alone and struggling to cope. Our teams have been working hard to keep in touch with them and we are determined to make sure that continues now and as restrictions and routines continue to change.

We know our friends and colleagues within the rail family feel as strongly as we do about keeping these children safe and Rail Aid is a brilliant example of that. Knowing that you are all behind us gives me, and everyone at Railway Children, the energy, the optimism and the determination to keep going in these incredibly difficult times.

I know that with your support we can keep these children safe, now and for years to come, and I know that we will all have good fun while we’re doing it with Rail Aid. You only need to look at the number of organisations getting stuck into our dance challenge or voting to see who gets their legs waxed to see that the industry is definitely getting on board and there is still plenty of time to do your bit too.

There is so much going on this week – from celebrity bingo, to a rail quiz hosted by Sir Peter Hendy himself and an auction for prizes that money can’t buy – and we want everyone to get involved and feel part of it. Make sure you watch the live broadcast on the night itself, November 27th, and before then sign up for updates, to show your support or simply to make a donation that will genuinely change children’s lives. Thank you.”

Terina Keene, CEO Railway Children, www.railaid.co.uk