A Network Rail worker from Derby is supporting vulnerable people as part of the NHS Volunteer Responder Scheme and has helped to donate personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals across the country.

Mike Fallows has worked for Network Rail for 18 years. He is currently a Senior Engineer, working on projects to help keep the railway running safely and efficiently. This means that critical workers can use the railway to get to their jobs and essential food, medical supplies and fuel can continue to be transported across the country via freight services.

As well as keeping the railway operating, Mike joined the NHS Volunteer Responder Scheme. In his spare time, he marks himself as ‘on duty’ using an app on his phone, then takes calls from people who are self-isolating and need support. He talks to those who are feeling lonely, as well as picking up shopping and prescriptions for people in the Oakwood area of Derby. Since lockdown, Mike has spent over 550 hours volunteering for the NHS. This work has been supported by Network Rail, as the company encourages workers to take volunteer leave so that they can spend time helping charities and other organisations.

Mike wanted to do more to support frontline workers as his son works as a paramedic. He approached colleagues at Network Rail at the beginning of April and suggested donating PPE to hospitals. Within 48 hours, Network Rail workers across the country gathered spare PPE and around 10,000 items, including coveralls and safety googles, were delivered to hospitals in East London, North London, Bristol and Newcastle.

Mike said: “I wanted to support the NHS and the amazing work they do as much as possible, both in my local area and nationally.

“I know some people are struggling during these challenging times. As a Volunteer Responder, one day I could be talking to someone who is feeling lonely and the next I could be out collecting prescriptions. I am enjoying chatting to a range of different people and checking whether they need anything.

“I’m so proud to work on the railway and help to keep vital services running. Our teams at Network Rail worked hard to get this PPE to hospitals across the country to help save lives.”

ENDS