Nationwide Sleepout To Raise Plight Of Thousands Of Runaway Children

Published on : Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Network RailA nationwide sleepout in major railway stations in four of Britain’s biggest cities is taking place to help vulnerable children who run away from home.


Network Rail and the wider rail industry is teaming up with the Railway Children charity to raise money and awareness for the work being done to help the thousands of children who run away from home every year.


To raise the profile of the Railway Children’s work, directors from Network Rail, train companies, rail industry partners and politicians, will sleep out on January 31 at Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Birmingham New Street and London Bridge stations, with the aim of raising £25,000.


The railway is one of the easiest ways to travel for runaway children, and this year the British Transport Police estimates it will deal with 10,000 child safeguarding incidents on Britain’s railways, a 20% increase from 2017/18.


Approximately a third of those children will have run away from home or care, escaping issues such as violence, abuse or neglect.


Pete Kent, programme director for the Railway Children charity, said: “The rail network is often the easiest way to travel for troubled young people looking to run away from their problems. As the BTP is on the transport front line, day in, day out, identifying these vulnerable children, working so closely with them gives us the chance to intervene before it is too late and keep these young people from any further harm.


“We have only been able to carry out this work thanks to the amazing support we have continued to have from across the industry, and we’re hoping this event will see the rail community coming together once again to support us and to support these children. Everyone and anyone can take part – and we’re hoping as many people as possible will get behind our first ever Railway Children Sleepout.”


Issues faced by these young people include sexual and criminal exploitation, physical, sexual or emotional abuse, domestic violence, unhealthy relationships, addiction and mental illness.


Sir Peter Hendy, Network Rail chairman and supporter of the Railway Children charity, said: “The Railway Children charity does amazing work to help children and young vulnerable people when they need it. Working with the British Transport Police, Network Rail staff help identify children who may be at risk among the millions of people who pass through our stations every year. We are proud to be working in partnership with the wider rail industry to raise as much money as we can for the Railway Children charity.”


Natasha Grice, executive director of people at Virgin Trains, said: “We’re proud to be sponsoring the Big Station Sleepout to raise funds for Railway Children – a charity we have supported for many years. We’ll be joining other rail industry colleagues sleeping out for the night at major stations to help reach the £25,000 target, which will go towards the vital work of identifying and supporting vulnerable children across the railway network.”


Source:- Network Rail

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