Good News Friday: Your weekly round-up of positive rail news!

Posted: 5 July 2024 | | No comments yet

In this week’s ‘Good News Friday’, we cover Aurizon’s Community Giving Fund empowering Australian charities, Caledonian Sleeper partnering with City Harvest to fight hunger and food waste and Southern Railway’s collaboration with the Aldingbourne Trust to beautify West Sussex stations.

Good News Friday: Your weekly round-up of positive rail news!

Aurizon’s Community Giving Fund empowers Australian charities

Aurizon's Community Giving Fund Empowers Australian Charities

Credit: Aurizon

Aurizon, Australia’s largest rail-based transport business, has announced the latest recipients of its Community Giving Fund, which benefits charities and community organisations across the country.

The fund supports initiatives in education, community safety, environment, and health and wellbeing, reflecting Aurizon’s commitment to the communities where its employees live and work. Grants of up to $20,000 are awarded to local non-profit organisations to aid their vital work.

Andrew Harding, Aurizon Managing Director & CEO, said: “We are thrilled to be able to support the regional areas where more than 80% of Aurizon’s employees live and work. By assisting these local projects through our Community Giving Fund, it allows Aurizon to give back and positively influence the lives of the people in these regions.”

In this funding round, 30 recipients have been selected for their various community initiatives across Australia. Highlights include:

  • Northern Territory: Charity Bounce Limited’s Hoop Dreams initiative, which uses sport to engage and facilitate employment for young people in the Nyewente Community
  • New South Wales: South Coast Rescue Squad Incorporated, receiving funds to purchase a Jaws of Life tool for the Wollongong Volunteer Rescue squad for emergency use
  • South Australia: Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation Limited’s community wellbeing programme in Whyalla, aimed at mental health awareness and education, including training for mental health first aid
  • Western Australia: Secondbite, receiving funds to purchase and deliver food items to the Esperance community to improve access to nutritious food
  • Queensland: CQ Capras Rugby League Limited’s school engagement programme for Year 5 and 6 students in the Central Highlands and Rockhampton regions, focusing on the transition to high school through physical activity, wellbeing and education modules.

These grants are part of Aurizon’s ongoing efforts to support and enrich the communities it serves.

Caledonian Sleeper partners with City Harvest to fight hunger and food waste

Caledonian Sleeper

Credit: Caledonian Sleeper

Caledonian Sleeper has teamed up with City Harvest, a London-based food charity, to tackle hunger and reduce food waste by redistributing surplus meals from their southbound service. The initiative aims to support people facing food poverty across the city, ensuring that no good food goes to waste.

The donations, including surplus cooked meals, are delivered to various charities such as foodbanks, refuges, shelters and community groups. One notable recipient is The Peel, a community charity in Clerkenwell, which lauds the impact of these donations in addressing local challenges like poverty and isolation.

Scarlett Gregory from The Peel expressed gratitude for the nutritious meals received weekly, emphasising their importance amidst rising living costs. City Harvest echoed this sentiment, highlighting the dual benefits of alleviating food insecurity and reducing environmental impact. They reported that the collaboration with Caledonian Sleeper has already saved 15.8 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in just four months.

Beyond food donations, Caledonian Sleeper employees have volunteered at City Harvest’s warehouse, aiding in food distribution efforts. David Durance, Catering and Operations Manager, said: “At Caledonian Sleeper, we want to support the communities we operate in, and we are extremely pleased to be able to help to tackle food poverty in London. We know with the current cost-of-living crisis, charities focussed on addressing hunger are vital, and by working with City Harvest, which is at the frontline of tackling this, we know we are making a real positive difference to people’s lives and the environment.”

Southern Railway and Aldingbourne Trust beautify West Sussex stations


Credit: Southern

A 15-year partnership between Southern Railway and The Aldingbourne Trust, a charity supporting adults with learning difficulties, is bringing vibrant floral displays to West Sussex stations.

Funded by Southern Railway, volunteers from The Aldingbourne Trust have planted and maintained flower beds and hanging baskets at several stations. Karen Tyrrell, Visitor and Enterprise Operations Manager, stated, “Our volunteers get loads of feedback from passengers who say how fabulous the flowers look. It makes them proud and contributes to their mental wellbeing.”

One volunteer, Kieran Hellyer, 28, from Bognor, said: “I’m more confident. It’s interesting and fun. We’ve made friends and help each other. We’re friends with the station staff as well.”

Tracy Jarvis, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “Funding this enterprise helps the trust to demonstrate to the wider community that everybody has a part to play in society. It doesn’t matter what your ability is, there’s a value you can add to your community.”

The ‘Adopt A Station’ program enhances station aesthetics and provides volunteers with skills in communication, independent travel, and health and safety, enriching their lives and benefiting passengers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *