Corporate and social responsibility
We’re passionate about putting our stations and services at the heart of the communities they serve. Here are some of the ways we do it
Transforming lives and communities
Everything we do as a railway is about connecting people, and providing the pathways that improve their lives. But we want to be at the heart of the communities we serve in more ways than one.
As a business we have real power to make a huge impact in transforming lives and communities. We know many of our people and customers are incredibly passionate about their local communities and how they can make them a better place to live and work.
We will focus on making a real difference in three important areas of society: Young people, Homelessness and Mental Health & Healthcare. We will do this by continuing to build close relationships with community groups and charity organisations, providing support and opportunities to address these issues.
Give us your (new!) socks
Homeless shelters are calling out for new warm socks to give to those in need
This Christmas period six regional homeless charities are partnering with Gatwick Express to provide support for local people experiencing homelessness.
We’re encouraging our passengers and teams to donate a new pair of socks for those sleeping rough over the festive period.
Often overlooked as an unimportant item, for those sleeping rough, a pair of socks is essential for keeping feet warm and dry. Without them, there is great risk of blisters, fungal infections and even trench foot. This basic item of clothing is also responsible for keeping feet healthy, maintaining good circulation and managing diabetes. With temperatures plummeting on UK streets this winter it takes just 30 minutes for frostbite to take hold, meaning socks are crucial for surviving.
How can I can get involved?
We will be holding collections at the below stations on 5 December between 7am – 10am:
- East Croydon
- London Blackfriars
- St Albans
We are working in partnership with:
- Brighton Housing Trust - bht.org.uk
- Spires - spires.org.uk
- The Connection at St Martins in the Field - connection-at-stmartins.org.uk
- Centre 33 - centre33.org
- Helping Herts Homeless - helpinghertshomeless.org.uk
- Noah Enterprise - noahenterprise.org
One of the ways we support our communities is by making donations and supporting local charities. We ask our teams to nominate and vote for our corporate charities local to our network.
Currently we are voting for three new charities across our network, one for each of the three areas that we are supporting as a business: Mental Health, Young People and Homelessness. Come back again soon to find out more.
In the past we have worked with East Anglian Air Ambulance, Chestnut Tree House, Keech Hospice and Embrace
We support our teams in their own fundraising efforts for causes they are passionate about. Taking part in major marathons, cycle rides, charity football matches, bake-offs and skydives are just some of the ways we’ve raised money. We may also be able to provide raffle prizes for local fundraising, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fundraising on our stations
If you’re interested in fundraising at our stations, we are very happy to take enquiries, please send requests to email@example.com.
We want to make sure youngsters stay safe when they travel with us.
That’s why we’ve worked with Sussex Community Rail Partnership (SCRP) to develop the Go-Learn project.
Go-Learn focuses on staying safe on the railway. It includes school sessions on travel planning and personal safety, as well as station visits.
Between April 2018 - March 2019 over 8,000 children benefited from a session with us.
To book a school session email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sussex Community Rail Partnership
Sussex Community Rail Partnership (SCRP) is a not-for-profit partnership that works to promote rail travel along some of our lines. They work with transport operators and local communities to:
- support community projects, including those that give people a sense of pride in their stations
- encourage rural tourism
- working with schools and local councils to give young people the skills to travel safely and independently by train
- working with community groups to help remove barriers to travel
- encourage healthy, sustainable and accessible travel
They also hold events and produce award-winning guides to train lines and local attractions.
SCRP covers six lines, including the Arun Valley (running from Gatwick Airport to Bognor Regis, Chichester), Brighton to Seaford, Marshlink (Ashford to Hastings), Tonbridge to Reigate, Oxted to East Grinstead and Uckfield, and West Coastway (Hove to Littlehampton).
To learn more visit the SCRP website.
A station partnership is a group of volunteers who come together to work with us on improving how one of our stations serves its local area. It’s an ongoing partnership that benefits everyone involved and creates links with local communities.
There’s a great variety of projects, but all are designed to benefit the community, the station and our passengers.
- Improving the look of a station through a garden
- Adding community artwork to brighten up areas of the buildings
- Introducing a book swap
Learn more – download our station partnerships leaflet
To keep the communities we serve up-to-date with our progress, we publish a sustainability report every year. Our reports cover a variety of topics such as society, customers, our people and finance.
Highlights from the report include:
- Currently the most punctual of the large and complex operators in UK rail
- Completed a five-year £2bn programme to transform passenger journeys with more than 1,500 new carriages, turning one of the UK’s oldest fleets into one of the most modern
- 22 million more journeys made with GTR in 2018/19 compared to the previous year
- Completed roll out of Class 700 trains on Thameslink and Great Northern mainline routes
- 81% of GTR passengers are satisfied or very satisfied, a 6% increase on 2018
- Southern’s passenger satisfaction at the highest level for seven years, with a 12% increase to 81%
- Passenger satisfaction at 89% on Gatwick Express, the highest in seven years
- Thameslink and Great Northern passenger satisfaction returned to pre-May timetable levels, with 83% and 77% respectively
- Generated over £1.6m2 in social value over the past five years by helping young people into employment
- 126 young people from The Prince’s Trust ‘Get into Railways’ programme employed across GTR. 14% of GTR London Bridge station staff recruited through the programme
- Delivered the “One Step Ahead” customer service training programme to over 3,000 customer facing employees
- 238 apprentices currently on programme with 40 engineering apprentices employed across our depots in 2019
- 154 female drivers (including trainee drivers)
- 18,000 children educated in railway safety
- 95 station partnerships make local stations more welcoming and vibrant
- Nine community lines supported