Alleviating poverty, bringing hope

GTR staff adopt NOAH as one of three new charities for fundraising

Expect to see cycling challenges, cake sales and bucket shaking a-plenty as Govia Thameslink Railway staff throw their weight behind three vital charities following a company-wide vote. Hundreds of staff across the business voted for causes close to their hearts for the company to formally support for coming two years. Choosing from a shortlist of seven drawn up from 24 nominations, the charities represent the new pillars that GTR is focusing on – young people, mental health and homelessness.
In the young people category, For Jimmy was victorious. This Lewisham-based organisation seeks to provide safe places in local communities to help protect young people from gang violence. For Jimmy was founded in 2009 by Barry and Margaret Mizen after their son Jimmy was murdered in May 2008 near their home in Lee, south east London.
GTR Apprentice Specialist David Jackson nominated For Jimmy. He said:

They’re a small charity and they do an awful lot for the community, not just in London but all over the UK. They support young people and educate them about not turning to crime.

Mind was the winning mental health charity as chosen by staff. This charity supported 425,000 people last year and has a network of about 130 Local Mind centres, which offer advice and support in their local communities, such as talking therapies, crisis care, and housing support.
Communications co-ordinator Sandra Lopez nominated Mind. She said;

I am delighted that GTR colleagues have chosen to support Mind as mental health is an issue that is very close to my heart. Good mental health is not always a given and there are many people who find it difficult to cope with everything that life throws at them. Often it’s just about taking that first step and telling someone that you need help.

The worthy winner in GTR’s homelessness category was Luton-based NOAH Enterprise, which runs a welfare centre all year round and provides hot meals to people who have fallen on hard times. In the last year, NOAH has received 435 new referrals, provided 17,273 lunches, 6,111 breakfasts and 7,472 soups. NOAH’s selection as a corporate charity formalises the partnership work between the charity and GTR over recent years.
Joe Healy, who is Station Manager for Harpenden and Luton Airport Parkway, was behind the nomination for NOAH. He said:

What they’re trying to achieve is absolutely fantastic. They’re a lifeline for people in need and try, and help people get their independence back. I was so excited to find out they had become one of our corporate charities.

GTR Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Verwer, said:

I am very pleased that our people have chosen these three charities. All are well deserving causes and GTR’s support for the coming two years will hopefully make a real difference. I cannot wait to see the creative fundraising in action

GTR’s corporate social responsibility manager Katherine Cox said of the new charities:

It is a key part of our CSR strategy that we support causes that our teams are passionate about and that help us to make a real change to wider society. For the charities who haven’t made our shortlist we will
be making a £50 donation to each organisation directly to show our support.

NOAH Enterprise Chief Executive Jim O’Connor MBE said:

I am delighted that the relationship that has developed between our organisations, and by which those who so much need our support have benefitted, is to continue over the next two years. We are honoured and blessed to be chosen as your homeless charity partner and I wish to thank all concerned at Govia Thameslink Railway. The local GTR team in Bedfordshire and surrounds have been tremendously generous in their creative fundraising and in giving of their time in other ways such as serving lunch to our people. Thank you.