£100,000 raised for Barnardo’s in first year of charity partnership with Network Rail

Employees at Network Rail have raised £100,000 for the charity Barnardo’s in the past year.

Network Rail and Barnardo’s are celebrating a year since the start of their Charity of Choice partnership, which is the most high-profile Network Rail charity relationship. Chosen by Network Rail employees, the charity of choice is a common cause that can be supported right across the business, and Barnardo’s is Network Rail’s charity partner until March 2019.

More than 220 people have volunteered a total of 1,750 hours – smashing the first year target of 1,300 hours – and more than £100,000 has been raised for the charity, which aims to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable young people.

The money raised so far is enough to pay for all the following:

  • vocational training in the construction trade for 30 young people at risk of education and social exclusion
  • 140 translator sessions for non-English speakers
  • 180 prevention education workshops in schools to educate young people of how to spot the signs of sexual exploitation and to stay safe
  • 250 sessions for young people with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) on matters including puberty, keeping safe and sexuality
  • an outing to the cinema or bowling alley for 500 carers, often as young as eight, allowing them to have fun with other children and enjoy a break from their adult responsibilities.

Network Rail’s commitment to engaging employees in volunteering and fundraising has enabled Barnardo’s to achieve better outcomes for more young people.


The generosity of colleagues, both in terms of donations and pro bono work, means we can have an even greater positive impact on local communities.

Bridget Dawson, corporate relationship manager at Barnardo’s

People at Network Rail have chosen all sorts of ways to do their bit – either raising money or volunteering some of their time to help, including with collections in Network Rail managed stations.

Among the many fundraising efforts, in May Network Rail employees and friends teamed up to compete in the Ashwell Banger Challenge in support of Barnardo’s, raising more than £22,000.

Twelve teams bought cars for less than £350, modified them to look more flamboyant – entries included a former police Volvo T5 modelled on the Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1 and a Mitsubishi Space Wagon copy of the ‘Mutt Wagon’ from the film Dumb & Dumber. They then took on a series of Top Gear-style challenges around local counties – in fancy dress – before auctioning the vehicles on eBay.

We were overawed with the support and engagement for what was a really fun weekend.

Mark Allen, lead engineering capability manager in Network Rail’s Safety, Technical and Engineering function, who participated in and organised the Ashwell Banger Challenge
Above: Browse through the volunteers’ gallery

Simon Day, discipline manager in Infrastructure Projects, the projects arm of Network Rail, spent three days in summer volunteering at the Active4Youth centre in Milton Keynes, helping people with a variety of special needs and behavioural difficulties to take on activities including kayaking, caving, raft building and sailing.

It brought me great joy to see the development and engagement of the young people in how they tackled their own personal challenges. Being able to offer something back to our wider community provided me with such an enriching experience.

Simon Day, Network Rail volunteer

Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne earlier in the year joined in with a carpentry class at Barnardo’s Hub Construction Skills Centre (pictured below).

Find out more

Barnardo’s announces partnership with Network Rail

How we support charities

Network Rail volunteer profiles