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Every year thousands of children across the UK, India and East Africa run away or are forced to leave homes that have become unbearable through poverty, abuse, violence and neglect. It doesn’t take long before these children become entrenched in street life, and often get exploited or abused by those wanting to take advantage of their vulnerability. So it is crucial to reach these children as early as possible…
Railway Children work on three levels to reach the maximum number of children and make the change as sustainable as possible. They have reach-out workers on the streets, spending time with the children, gaining their trust and attending to their immediate needs, such as shelter and food. Then they work with communities, to help change the perception of children on the streets, and to encourage locals to recognise their role in protecting these vulnerable people. And finally, they advise and assist at government level with policy makers, to push this issue higher up the political agenda, to help offer greater protection and provide more opportunities for the children.
In June 2017 some familiar names from the SmartRail team will be climbing the three highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland – Scafell Pike, Mount Snowdon and Ben Nevis. Not the highest mountains in the world, no, but what makes this challenge particularly gruelling is that the three climbs will be completed within 36 hours and with no sleep!
On Thursday afternoon we will begin our journey in the afternoon, travelling from London to Wales by train. Reaching our destination in the evening we will tighten up our walking boots, stick on our head torches and climb our first mountain overnight, Mount Snowdon. Unfortunately there will be no one serving in the café at the top in the middle of the night, so a quick high five and we’ll head straight back down so we can jump on a charming steam railway first thing in the morning to take us onto our next mountain.
But, oh no, not so easy… This train won’t take us all the way, so here we’ll be throwing in an added 6km walk just to get us to the foot of our second mountain, Scafell Pike. So, after the 2 hour walk, up we will go again, this time in the day and the smallest of the three peaks, but on particularly rocky terrain and probably very tired from lack of sleep. Once we finish our descent from this second mountain, we will embark on the third leg of the journey, on another train, and overnight towards our highest peak, Ben Nevis, which we will begin to climb first thing the following morning. Broad zig-zag paths over steep boulder fields will lead us to our third and final summit, and the highest point in the UK! Job done! Feeling completely exhausted and probably delirious, all that will be left to do then is climb all the way back down and then get on our final trains, first taking us through the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and then down through the length of England, ending up back in London. Phew!
Here at SmartRail World we want to help make a difference to these children’s lives, and are proud to announce our official partnership with Railway Children. As from 2017, we will be donating £4 to the charity for every paying delegate who attends our events. And in addition to that we will be setting annual challenges for the SmartRail team to raise further money. 2017 will be the year of the mountains!
→ Alex Williamson - Managing Director
→ Luke Upton – Editor
→ Rosie Nixon – Head of Operations
→ Stephen Scott – Head of Marketing
→ Louisa Manning - Conference Producer
→ Piers Bearne – Chairman (Yes, we have got our Chairman involved!)
We have a target of £7,000 to raise, and this is where we need your help! Our challenge is no small feat and our sole purpose is raise money. If you or your company are able to make a donation of any size we would hugely appreciate it! Donations can be made by clicking here. We think the Railway Children is an incredibly worthwhile cause, and hope you do too.
Send us your logo after making a company donation and we can add your logo here to show your kind support! Big thanks already to: