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Southern Rail train drivers smash rowathon target

Three train drivers from Southern Rail have smashed their fundraising target by relay-rowing the distance from London to Paris in 24 hours on Brighton Station concourse.

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Richard Brown (centre) with Richard Quinn (left) and Gary Harman (right) have raised almost £6,000 for Cancer Research UK

Three train drivers from Southern Rail have smashed their fundraising target by relay-rowing the distance from London to Paris in 24 hours on Brighton Station concourse.

The trio are on their way to tripling their target of £2,000 for Cancer Research UK with a staggering £1,541 raised by bucket collectors alone and a further £4,200 in pledges plus donations on their sponsorship page.

Driver competency manager Richard Quinn and drivers Gary Harman and Richard Brown came away with raw hands but not too many aches and pains after the rowing machine marathon that began at 12 noon on Friday (11 January).

Richard Quinn, 42, from Portslade, said:

“Everything went to plan and we were amazed by the amount of support we got from everyone. We had many people telling us inspirational and sadly tragic stories about how cancer had affected their lives, which only pushed us on more.

“I think we all suffered between 3-6am but once the station opened again on Saturday and people started to arrive it became easier.”

All three have had their lives touched by cancer. A colleague of theirs, who was only in his thirties, died from the disease recently.

Richard added:

“Our colleague’s death at such a young age affected us all. In the past year, five of my direct family members plus work colleagues have been diagnosed or treated for cancer. Sadly, I’ve known of several deaths because of this cruel disease.”

Richard’s father, 71, who was successfully treated for colorectal cancer, came along to support his son.

Richard Brown, 37, and also from Brighton, said:

“I lost my best friend Elena to Non-Hodgkin lymphoma two years ago after a long battle. It made me painfully aware of just how cruel and non-discriminating cancer could be.”

The drivers’ sponsorship page remains up and running for donations at https://bit.ly/2sdmYrR

Charity

Gatwick Express team gives cash boost to Crawley charity

The Gatwick Express team has given a local charity a cash boost following a number of staff fundraising initiatives in recent months.

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Maria Cook, Chair of Autism Support Crawley (left) takes delivery of a 'rail ticket cheque' from Gatwick Express managers

Autism Support Crawley, which supports children and adults on the autistic spectrum, has been given a generous donation of £1,931.15 thanks to kind-hearted Gatwick Express staff who have taken part in a series of activities at Gatwick Airport Station, including cake sales, a Christmas jumper competition and bucket appeals.

Station staff were delighted to be able to hand over a cheque to Autism Support Crawley on Tuesday, May 21 to the chairperson of the charity, Maria Cook.

She said:

“We are thrilled to receive such wonderful support from everyone at Gatwick Express.

“Their response to the voluntary work that we do for over 1,200 families across Sussex and Surrey is overwhelming. This will go a long way in helping us to continue to support families and work with lots of different professions to improve understanding, acceptance and inclusion in society,”she added.

Gatwick Express staff were inspired to support the charity after hosting a group from Autism Support Crawley for a ‘Try a Train’ event, during which autistic young people and adults were shown around the station to help them become more familiar and confident when travelling by train, as well as how to buy tickets to support more independent travel.

Gatwick area station manager David Stronell said:

“We’re really proud of all the work we have done to help the charity. The whole station has been involved in the fundraising.

“Since we started supporting the charity, it has sparked a lot of conversations and a lot of staff have talked about having children on the autistic spectrum. It has brought us all together and got people opening up about autism, which in turn has raised awareness for us all,” said David.

Charity trustee, member and service user Charlotte Gover said:

“The amazing donation from Gatwick Express will support so many of our families by enabling us to continue to provide information sessions, conferences, coffee mornings, evening meetings and much needed inclusive family events.”

Staff at Gatwick are now gearing up for their next fundraising events so watch this space!

This month also marks the 35th birthday of Gatwick Express and there have been plenty of activities going on to celebrate the occasion.

For more information, visit:http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/govia-thameslink-railway/pressreleases/gatwick-express-staff-celebrate-35-years-of-operations-2872525

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