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An Employee Network to support our Armed Forces

We’re committed to helping Armed Forces Veterans enjoy successful civilian careers here at Network Rail. Take a look at how our Armed Forces employee network is helping us do this and lots more.  

The Armed Forces employee network launched on Reserves Day, Wednesday 21 June 2023, bringing together over 1,000 colleagues connected to the Armed Forces. It’s one of our eight networks that aims to build a sense of community and offer support and resources to its members. 

Take a look at what Andrew Haines, our chief executive, says about it: 

A supportive community 

Lex Agathangelou, a programme manager at Network Rail, talks of the kinship he has found here since leaving the Army. He says: “There is an internal community here that is open not just to ex-Regulars or certain Reservists, but spouses, family members, anyone who has an interest in the Armed Forces.” 

There are five pillars the network is committed to. They are: 

  • recognising the value serving personnel, Reservists, Veterans and military families bring to our business
  • supporting the employment of veterans young and old
  • supporting our employees who choose to be members of the Reserve Forces
  • supporting the employment of service spouses and partners 
  • offering support to our local cadet units
  • supporting those that are wounded, injured or sick as a result of their service.  

Our commitment to the Armed Forces  

We’re proud of our long history supporting the Armed Forces. In fact, we’re even recognised by the government for our outstanding support for the Armed Forces community at Network Rail.  

We received the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold award in 2017 and it was revalidated once again in 2022. This prestigious award recognises our commitment to employ and support all veterans, reserves, spouses and cadet instructors.

Mark Budden, MBE QCVS, managing director of Network Rail High Speed, Southern Route and co-chair of the Armed Forces network, speaks highly of his experience: “I left the Armed Forces eleven years ago and joined Network Rail. Since then, it has supported and encouraged me to do a variety of roles in a variety of disciplines. I think that’s the key strength of the company.”

Establishing a pipeline

Brad Smith, head of public and passenger safety at Network Rail and co-chair of the employee network, explains a key aim of the network: “We want to create a pipeline that brings good colleagues from the Armed Forces into the industry, but then also bring Network Rail colleagues out to them.”

The network is keen to establish Network Rail as a company the provides a ‘soft landing’ for Veterans as they transition back to civilian life. And then supporting and encouraging any colleagues wishing to work with or support the Armed Forces.

In doing so, we very much hope to share and support the great skills and people across this pipeline.

Poppy Day

We were more recently involved in the Royal British Legion’s London Poppy Day. On Thursday 2 November 2023, all 11 of our managed stations around London were full of military personnel and veterans.  

Volunteers, including some of our colleagues, took donations and handed out plastic-free poppies to passengers travelling through the stations. Military bands entertained the crowds and added to the exciting atmosphere.  

All donations went to the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal, which supports the Armed Forces community throughout their lives. 

We’re excited to continue working with the Armed Forces network to further support the Armed Forces community.  

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