Earlier this year Chiltern Railways announced St Basils as one of their two 'charities of the year' as voted for by their staff. Chiltern Railways runs fast services from Birmingham stations (Snow Hill and Moor Street) through Solihull stations to London Marylebone. St Basils has support services including over 350 units of accommodation for vulnerable young people across Birmingham and Solihull and facilitates the Youth Homeless Parliament made up of 100 young people from across England who are or have been homeless, which includes a major event in London once a year.
As part of their year-long pledge of support to St Basils, Chiltern Railways organised their own sponsored SleepOut on Thursday 28th May 2015. This challenge modelled on St Basils own BIG SleepOut which anyone can take part in, is a sponsored challenge to sleep outside overnight in a cardboard box. Chiltern Railways' organised their own SleepOut for their staff aiming to raise awareness of youth homelessness with their customers and the general public and vital funds to support our local services. The group of Chiltern Railways staff visited one of our accommodation schemes in Small Heath before taking part in the challenge.
James Doris who took part tweeted photos of the area by the station on the night where they would be sleeping and said “so proud to be sleeping rough tonight to raise money and awareness for @StBasilsCharity - amazing cause. Hoping to raise so much money sleeping rough for one night” and “Sleeping rough for St Basils is amazing only I am struggling to sleep”.
Rob Brighouse, Managing Director of Chiltern Railways said: “We’re delighted to support a charity which is based at the heart of our route. The sleep out is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the charity’s vital work. The money raised will support the charity’s prevention, accommodation and support services, which help young homeless people regain the stability they need to rebuild their lives.”
Steve Rainbow, Fundraising Officer for St Basils said: “The Big Sleep Out is a challenge which St Basils organise every year and I am delighted that Chiltern Railways staff staged their own Sleep Out to help us. SleepOuts do not intend to replicate the realities of being homeless, but the act of giving up your bed for the night leads to a greater appreciation of what young people could face if there weren’t services to support them. Having such a high profile company willing to do this by staging a Sleep Out helps raise awareness of youth homelessness and the work we do to break the cycle and shows Chiltern’s commitment to supporting the work of St Basils".
"Chiltern Railways staff taking part in this event raised £3,573.75 (including Gift Aid) to help us which is an amazing total for a sleepout of this size! Thank you so much you’re your support!”
Chiltern Railways is also giving members of the public the chance to snap up a piece of railway history by auctioning off four Class 67 name plates. The money raised will be split between the company’s two charities of the year, the Brain Tumour Charity and St Basils. It is being organised by G.W. Railwayana Auctions and will take place on Saturday 25 July at 10am at Pershore High School in Worcestershire. However, there is also an opportunity to bid online at www.the-saleroom.co.uk .