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  • Our support for charities

    We support charities in a variety of ways - contributions to our national Charity of Choice, employee fundraising and volunteering, funding for local charitable projects in our route areas and collections at our stations

  • Our Charity of Choice

    Every two years our people vote for their ‘charity of choice’.  The winning charity then benefits from a range of support from Network Rail, including employee fundraising, payroll giving, matched funding and gifts in kind.

    In past years our chosen charities have included Action for Children, Cancer Research UK and the NSPCC. From 2014 until 2016, our Charity of Choice is CLIC Sargent  – the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families.

    Every day, 10 children and young people in the UK hear the shocking news that they have cancer. Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles from home and can last for up to three years. Although survival rates are over 80 per cent, cancer remains the single largest cause of death from disease in children and young people in the UK.

    CLIC Sargent provides clinical, practical and emotional support to help children and young people cope with cancer and get the most out of life.

     In 2014/15, we contributed more than £1.8m to CLIC Sargent.

    Supporting local charities

     In addition to supporting our national Charity of Choice, employees working on our eight routes organise their own fundraising and volunteering activities for local charities in their areas. 

    To help make this possible, all of our people are entitled to up to five days’ volunteer leave  to help charities that work in the areas shown below (see "Funding for local charity projects"). 

    In 2014/15, our people spent more than 10,900 hours working as volunteers on charitable or community engagement work. More than 40 per cent of this volunteer time was spent with projects that enabled them to be a caring neighbour, such as hospices and charities for homeless or disabled people.  

  • Funding for local charity projects

    Our eight routes have small pots of funding available at different times throughout the year for local charities that work in the following areas:

    • Education, employability and skills
    • Emergency response
    • Health and wellbeing
    • Social inclusion
    • Transport and environment

    If your charity is in one of these categories and you'd like to apply for funding for a local project, here's what you need to do:

    1. Find out which is your local National Rail route, using the map shown on our routes page
    2. Find out the name and address of the charity contact for your local route, using our charities contacts list (PDF)
    3. Email them requesting an application form
    4. Complete and return the application form to them

    Charity collections at our stations

    Another important way we support charities is by encouraging charity cash collections at the stations that we own and manage. These include the biggest and busiest stations in Britain. We don’t charge charities for holding collections at our stations.

    If you‘re a registered charity and would like to hold a cash collection at one of our stations, please follow these steps:

    1. Read our charities collections policy to make sure that your charity and the collectors qualify to collect at one of our stations 
    2. If you qualify, download and fill in an application form and indemnity form
    3. Send your two completed forms to A request will not be processed until both the completed application and indemnity form are received. 

    A minimum of 60 days’ notice is required when applying to collect at a Network Rail managed station; we’ll acknowledge it within 10 working days.

    If you’re looking to hold a promotional activity at one of our stations (including flyers, leafleting, events, stands and stalls) please contact Space and People who manage this type of activity for us, email

    Any questions?

    If you have a query or would like to find out more about our charitable giving, please email