A team that has raised more than £250,000 for Martin House Children’s Hospice by putting on charter train trips has won a national railway prize.
The Charter Train Fundraising Team, made up of staff from DB Cargo, Network Rail and volunteers from the Branch Line Society, has won the team award in the Railway Benefit Fund’s Heart of Gold Awards.
Every year the team gives up hours of their own time to put on special charter train trips around the country, which raises money for Martin House. They put the first train on in 2019, in tribute to Luca Pezzulo, the son of a Network Rail colleague who died at Martin House aged 11.
Rebecca Wynne, director of income generation at Martin House, said: “We are thrilled that the fundraising team have received this recognition for the amazing work they do.
“They have worked tirelessly to raise an absolutely incredible amount of money for Martin House, and we are so grateful for their continued support.”
Martin House provides specialist palliative care to children and young people with life-shortening conditions from across West, North and East Yorkshire, as well as supporting their families.
Its care includes planned respite stays, symptom control, emergency care, end-of-life and care after death, as well as supporting bereaved families.
The charter train fundraising team includes founders Kev Adlam from the Branch Line Society and Jerry Dickinson and Mark Bridel from Network Rail, along with David Jenkinson, Quentin Hedderly, Richard Corser, Ross Taylor, Andrew Denton, Jonathan Lawton from DB Cargo.
To mark the success of the charter train trips, and the partnership with Martin House, a locomotive was named in honour of the hospice last summer.
Jerry Dickinson said: “To be nominated, let alone win is a huge surprise and pleasure for us, but ultimately it reflects on just how important Martin House has become to us.
“What started out as a single train in 2019 to commemorate the passing of Luca, and to raise some money for the hospice has simply snowballed and garnered huge support from a disparate industry, which we have brought together to deliver events that can support the hospice and allow it to carry out and enhance its vital and fantastic work – we, and I, are hugely proud to support Martin House.”
To find out more about Martin House and how to support its work, visit www.martinhouse.org.uk.