The Railway Children Sleepout is back for 2023

VolkerRail is continuing its support for Railway Children’s Sleepout, and will once again be the event’s headline sponsor.

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On Thursday 2 February, hundreds of volunteers will swap their warm beds at home for the cold floor of railway stations across the country, to help Railway Children raise awareness, as well as vital funds to support vulnerable young people who face hardship every day around the world.

Each year, the British Transport Police find up to 10,000 children in danger across the UK rail network, often with no one to care for or protect them.

Over 300 people took part in the 2022 event, raising a staggering £172,000 in sponsorship for the charity; vital funds that have gone towards helping Railway Children offer support and protection to over 350,000 children for the last 27 years.

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To sign up for the Sleepout, visit Railway Children’s website. Once registered, you can start to raise as much sponsorship money as you can. This year, eight stations have signed up to take part, including:

  • Glasgow Central
  • Manchester Piccadilly
  • Derby
  • Birmingham New Street
  • Swansea
  • London Waterloo
  • London St Pancras
  • London Liverpool Street

Nine senior leaders from across the rail industry have committed to supporting the Sleepout by becoming ambassadors of the charity’s fundraising initiative. Not only will they encourage others to take part, but they will also be sleeping out themselves.

Steve Cocliff, VolkerRail’s managing director, is one of the nine ambassadors, and said: “Although this event won’t replicate the situation faced by young people who have left home, who are homeless or are living in extreme poverty, 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.

“This is just one night, where you will sleep on a cold, uncomfortable floor, but you can bring sleeping bags, and will be under cover, and with colleagues – much more than thousands of young people across the UK.

“We must remember that the younger generation is our future. It is vitally important that we do all we can for every child who needs extra support, helping them, and getting their lives on a better journey.”

Railway Children’s CEO, Terina Keene, 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.

“We have to say a huge thank you to our sponsor, VolkerRail. Together we can make a vital difference to the lives of so many children.”