Senior figures at train company East Coast are going ‘MAD’ to make a difference to children living on the streets.
More than 40 directors and senior managers across the firm are going ‘back to the floor’ today, 9 March, to join crews on-board train services between London and the East Midlands, Yorkshire, North East England and Scotland.
On the day, East Coast’s Chairman, Directors and senior managers will be staffing buffet counters and refreshment trolleys, and serving complimentary food and drinks to passengers travelling in First Class.
As they go, they will be collecting donations to support the Railway Children, an international children’s charity which rescues homeless children on the streets of Britain and around the world.
A specially-created Carrot and Cranberry Cake will be on sale on-board all East Coast trains on Friday, 9 March for £1, with every penny raised going to the Railway Children charity.
Competitions with great prizes will also be running on East Coast’s Twitter feed – follow @eastcoastuk on Twitter for entry and prize details.
East Coast Deputy Managing Director Andy Meadows said: “We’ve been thinking hard about ways to support the Railway Children charity’s Make A Difference event – and at the same time, to get out and about on the railway and work alongside our teams who provide great service to passengers every day.
“We’ve decided to combine the two, and so on Friday, 9 March many of our senior figures will be rolling their sleeves up and joining our teams working hard for passengers on-board East Coast trains.
“We’re really looking forward to meeting passengers on the day and encouraging everyone on-board to support this very important appeal. Together, we can really make a difference.”
The Railway Children charity was set up in 1993 when David Maidment, a senior rail manager at the time, saw for himself the plight of street children outside a railway terminal in India. He returned to Britain and found no charity was intervening early enough to save youngsters from poverty and abuse on the streets.
Over 100,000 children run away each year in the UK, and around 20% of these are under 12 years of age.
Railway Children Chief Executive Terina Keene said: “What difference can a day make? We’ll show you! Every penny from MAD Day will be spent on worthwhile projects and give children a better future.
“Even £5 can provide a child with three good meals a day for 12 days: more than that, it can help provide a ticket to escape from the horrors of street life.”
Railway Children now has projects in the UK, India and East Africa, based on a three-step approach to securing long-term positive change – meeting the needs of children, shifting local perceptions, and holding governments responsible.
The charity says donations as small as £1 will provide a child on the streets with basic materials they need to read and write, while £10 will provide clothing and toiletries for a runaway child in a refuge centre.