Network Rail signaller recognised for helping Blackpool’s homeless

Chris Conway (centre) with the United Blackpool team.

Chris Conway, a relief signaller with Network Rail at Bamber Bridge, near Preston, has been given a special award for his work helping the homeless.

At a ceremony held to mark Blackpool Tower’s 125th anniversary, Chris was made one of 125 ‘Local Heroes’ for his work leading a team of volunteers who support rough sleepers in his hometown of Blackpool.

The awards ceremony was organised by the Blackpool Gazette newspaper in the iconic landmark’s famous Tower Ballroom.

The 26-year-old started his Thursday night ‘community watch’ street walks last year, when up to 40 volunteers, decked out in Chris’ ‘United Blackpool’ hoodies, gave support to rough sleepers.

Since starting his street walks, Chris has helped get 25 homeless people off the streets and into rented accommodation. He works with Blackpool charity Amazing Graze, running the local soup kitchen on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights, and is also charity ambassador for Network Rail’s North West & Central region.

Chris Conway with his award.

On receiving his award, Chris commented: “From a young age, about five or six, I remember going into Blackpool and being upset when I saw homeless people. Helping the homeless is always something I’ve been passionate about.

“It’s great to be given this opportunity by Network Rail to support my ideas to help the homeless and take that further than Blackpool. Later this year that includes a charity sleepout, and there are also other exciting projects coming up which I hope will make a real difference to help people in other cities find accommodation and get themselves back on their feet.”

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