Skip to content

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 charity partners

Two Big Issue vendors wearing covid protection, holding The Big Issue magazines and a card payment machine.
Photo credit: Louise Haywood-Schiefer

Routes out of Homelessness

As a company we’re doing a lot to improve how we engage and work with communities surrounding the railway. Between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2024, Network Rail will be supporting the social cause of homelessness via a national charitable campaign – ‘Routes out of Homelessness’.

Through volunteering, fundraising, payroll giving and gift-in-kind support, we will help to tackle the societal and operational issue of homelessness.

The matter has clear links to railway safety and performance, public and passenger safety and satisfaction, and mental health and suicide prevention.

The national campaign will allow flexible, local partnerships with a wide range of organisations across Great Britain such as homelessness charities, shelters, food banks and employment support groups, allowing Network Rail’s routes, regions and functions to choose how they support the overarching theme.

The ‘Routes out of Homelessness’ campaign will give hope to homeless people by offering support to the charities that work so hard to provide vulnerable people with a better future.

Routes out of Homelessness icon

Our national charity partners

To help us make a difference around homelessness, we are working with national charity partners The Big Issue Foundation, Crisis, Railway Children and Shelter, while forming local partnerships across the business to tackle local issues around homelessness that are important to individual communities.

The Big Issue Foundation logo
Crisis logo
Railway Children logo

Supporting local charities

In addition to supporting our national charitable campaign, employees across the business and working in our routes and regions organise their own fundraising and volunteering activities for local charities in their area. To help make this possible, all of our people are entitled to up to five days’ volunteer leave to help UK registered charities and support community engagement activity such as our 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.

How you can get involved

  • Make a donation in one of our stations
  • Find out about volunteering/fundraising opportunities with our partner charities
  • Buy a copy of The Big Issue magazine from a vendor or by subscription
  • Contact Streetlink to help connect people sleeping rough with local services
  • Text British Transport Police (BTP) on 61016 to report a vulnerable child at a station.

Some of the great ways our employees contribute

  • In 2019/20, 4,363 colleagues volunteered 57,913 hours to support charities and community projects. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, 725 of our colleagues used one or more volunteer leave days in 2020/21, a total of 217 hours.
  • In 2020/21, the average number of colleagues donating via payroll giving per four-week period was 3,556. The average donation was £12.80 per colleague.
  • In 2021, Network Rail was awarded a Silver Quality Mark Award from Charities Trust to recognise the efforts made by employees to donate through the scheme.
  • Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2019/20 passengers and station users donated £1,020,518.84 across 817 bucket collections at our managed stations, averaging £1,249 per collection.
  • We raised over £209k, including £162k of employee fundraising, for our Charity of Choice, Barnardo’s, between October 2016 and March 2019.

Contact us

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

Together we can end domestic abuse