On Thursday 9 February, employees from VolkerWessels UK joined over 340 volunteers to take part in the Railway Children’s fourth Sleepout event, swapping their warm beds at home for the cold floor of a railway station, to raise awareness and money for children who face hardship every day around the world.
This nationwide event was sponsored by VolkerRail, and saw nine Stations across the UK take part including Glasgow Central, Swansea, London terminals - Waterloo, St Pancras and Liverpool Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Birmingham New Street, Derby and Doncaster.
The Railway Children is an international charity working to reach vulnerable children who have no-one else to care for and protect them. This includes the 10,000 young people British Transport Police find in danger on the rail network every year, the thousands of children who use the extensive railway to run away in India or those desperately struggling to survive a life on the streets of Tanzania.
This year’s Sleepout event raised £164,000, with £4,452 raised by representatives from across VolkerWessels UK.
Commenting on the event, Andrew Wilkins, VolkerRail’s finance director, said: “Thank you to everyone involved in this year’s event. Whilst this one night doesn’t replicate the situation faced by young people around the world, it is hugely important that we join forces with our industry colleagues to help shine a light on the problems and difficulties children face when running away from home. The younger generation is our future, and we must do all we can to provide extra support.”
Terina Keene, Railway Children CEO, said: “The Sleepout helps us raise awareness of the problems young people face and the work we do alongside the British Transport Police and the rail industry.
“Thousands of vulnerable young people are identified on the rail network every year. Often these children see stations as a place to go or hide, and trains as a means to escape. This event helps us raise vital funds to help them and to keep them safe. We couldn’t do it without the support of everyone involved.”
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