Charities and volunteering

We support charities in a variety of ways – from employee fundraising and payroll giving to volunteering, station collections and gifts in kind to our local charity partners.

Suicide Prevention and Mental Health

We’re doing a lot of work to improve how we engage and work with communities surrounding the railway.

Between 1 April 2024 and 31 March 2029, Network Rail will be supporting the theme of ‘Suicide Prevention and Mental Health’. This theme was chosen by colleagues following a poll that received over 50% of the vote.

The theme of ‘Suicide Prevention and Mental Health’ has clear links to the wellbeing of local communities, public and passenger safety and satisfaction, and railway safety and performance. For example:

  • 43% of railway workers have a mental health issue, and more than half of those said they experienced a psychological or mental health issue because of their work in the rail industry (Samaritans, 2023). During the last financial year 65,584 working days were lost within Network Rail due to mental health related sickness absence (Samaritans, 2023).
  • Last year the number of railway fatalities caused by suicides in Great Britain was 239. This resulted in approximately 650,000 minutes of delay and around £65 million in delay payments, annually. This has the potential to leave a lasting effect on family and friends, as well as rail staff, passengers, and the wider community (Samaritans, 2023).

Management of the theme

Between April 2024 and March 2029, Network Rail regions and functions will have the opportunity to create local charitable partnerships that align with their local priorities and the theme. Network Rail will build upon existing work taking place relating to these topics across the rail industry and will build upon existing partnerships such as Community Rail and organisations that help promote employee wellbeing such as The Tree Council and Canal River Trust.

Supporting local charities

In addition to supporting our national charitable theme, employees across the business are encouraged to organise their own fundraising and volunteering activities for local charities in their area or for charities important to them. To help make this possible, all of our people are entitled to up to five days volunteer leave to help UK registered charities and other community engagement activities such as Community Rail, community safety and early engagement work.

If you’re part of a charity that could benefit from volunteers’ time, we would be interested in working with you to promote the opportunities available to our people. Please contact

Routes out Of Homelessness (ROOH) legacy

Between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2023, Network Rail supported the social cause of homelessness through the national charitable theme of Routes out of Homelessness (ROOH).

The Big Issue Foundation logo
Crisis logo

We worked with The Big Issue Foundation, Crisis, Railway Children, Shelter and End Youth Homelessness while forming local partnerships across the business to tackle local issues around homelessness that are important to individual communities.

Network Rail supported the campaign through employee fundraising, payroll giving, colleague volunteering, station collections and space at stations. 

Key successes of the ROOH campaign included:

  • Rough Sleeping on Rail Charter signed on 7 October 2020.
  • Award winning Rough Sleeping Outreach services delivered through Shelter at Manchester Piccadilly, Birmingham New Street, Victoria and Charing Cross Station.
  • Creation of the Network Rail and Shelter Rough Sleeping on Rail Toolkit for station colleagues.
  • Activities at managed stations such as the Shelter Retail Roadshow, Big Issue Vendors and the Railway Children Sleepout
  • Network Rail employees used 432 days of volunteer leave to support the ROOH charities.
  • Over £53,000 collected by the ROOH charities at bucket collections at Network Rail managed stations.
  • Tap-to-donate readers installed to support a variety of charities linked to homelessness at 13 of Network Rail’s managed stations.
  • Southern region, in partnership with Standing Tall, have employed five people with experience of homelessness into customer service assistant roles at managed stations.
  • Birmingham New Street and Manchester Piccadilly are working with Standing Tall to fill customer service assistant roles at their stations.

Contact us

If you would like to learn more about charitable giving at Network Rail please email