Working together to tackle rough sleeping across Britain’s railways
We are one of five charities supporting Network Rail’s ‘Routes out of Homelessness’ programme. Alongside The Big Issue Foundation, Railway Children, End Youth Homelessness and Crisis, we’re working with Network Rail colleagues to create a programme of fundraising events, volunteering opportunities and training sessions. Our five-year corporate partnership runs until 2024 and supports the rail industry’s ambition to provide a route out of homelessness for every person sleeping rough around the rail network.
Five stations are now home to a tap-to-donate machines which give commuters the chance to support the partnership by making a small donation via their credit or debit card, with the money split between the charities. These machines are in Manchester Piccadilly, Edinburgh Waverley, Reading, Leeds and Birmingham New Street train stations.
Our partnership so far
Since November 2020, we've been working with Network Rail to help people who sleep rough in and around Manchester Piccadilly and Birmingham New Street stations to access accommodation. We are also working with other organisations in Birmingham and Manchester to make sure clients can secure and keep a home. So far, we’ve supported many clients who have been living on the streets for a long time to start to move into accommodation. We will continue to work with them to access permanent accommodation when the time is right.
We're also supporting Network Rail staff in Manchester Piccadilly and Birmingham New Street stations in helping people move away from the streets. We’re doing this through training to increase staff confidence when interacting with people who are sleeping rough. Some of our outreach engagement workers and volunteers have lived experience of homelessness themselves, which means that they understand the situations people sleeping rough are in and can build strong relationships to help them stay engaged with local services.
We’re extremely grateful for the continued support of Network Rail and all its employees. We’re excited for the opportunity to develop the partnership alongside other key charities supporting people facing bad housing and homelessness.