International Day of Charity: Routes Out of Homelessness

This International Day of Charity we explain how we support giving across the railway…

Network Rail has adopted a new strategy for its charitable efforts in a bid to develop multiple partnerships focused on a national social cause.

We’re now supporting a specific charitable theme for five years, starting with an issue that has dramatically worsened in recent years – homelessness.

Our Routes out of Homelessness campaign will aim to tackle homelessness with local and national charities across Britain, supporting some of the most vulnerable communities interacting with our railway.

The five-year focus on the cause will mean more opportunities for sustainable and meaningful partnerships in the future.

This is a significant change from our previous strategy – a Charity of Choice partnership scheme in which we work with a single charity for two years.

Rough sleeping and homelessness in Britain are increasing year on year. Data from charity St Mungo’s shows homelessness has increased by 169% since 2010 with 4,751 sleeping rough on a snap-shot night in England.

In the period of heavy snow between 26 February and 11 March last year, members of the public made more than 37,000 referrals to the St Mungo’s Street Link App, a reporting service.

Charity collections in our stations

Charities and volunteering

A contactless donation point at London Bridge station

We have a history of supporting homeless people. Our work with the Big Issue enables vendors to hold pitches at some of our managed stations while Christmas Day at London Euston station last year, Network Rail and industry partners hosted a lunch for homeless people.

We have also teamed up with homeless charities to provide operational guidance to employees to help vulnerable people in and around Network Rail stations and infrastructure.

In May, we collaborated with non-profit organisation TAP London to install a contactless donation point at London Bridge station.

Meanwhile, many of our employees have used their volunteer leave to support homeless shelters, food banks, employability programmes and mental health organisations.

Last year, Manchester Piccadilly station hosted a week of events to help homeless people

Our Routes Out of Homelessness national campaign will provide an opportunity for Network Rail to support this significantly challenging societal issue, whilst building partnerships to deliver local campaigns and address specific operational challenges.

We most recently partnered with children’s charity Barnardo’s until March. We proudly supported Barnardo’s through fundraising, volunteering, gifts in kind and payroll giving to help the charity transform the lives of some of the UK’s most vulnerable children.

We also displayed information about Barnardo’s at railway stations in England and Scotland, including all major stations in London.

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