Formed as part of LNER’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, LNER Reserves connects staff with various organisations, including the NHS, emergency services, LNER partner charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), FareShare, The Trussell Trust, NCVO and Age UK.
Now more than 120 LNER Reserves are making a difference for other people in their communities right along the East Coast route. Volunteering to support the NHS, emergency services, charities and other organisations during the COVID-19 outbreak, they have clocked up 2000 hours of service in just a matter of weeks.
Stuart Rawcliffe, duty team leader at York, is also a part-time fire fighter. Through that role, he has recently been trained to drive ambulances and has been temporarily freed up from his duties by LNER so he can support the NHS.
Stuart said: “I feel proud to be able to offer additional support to the ambulance service during the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s great that the LNER Reserves helps people from around the business do the same.”
Customer experience host Neil Spendelow is volunteering with the COVID Kindness team in Lincolnshire, providing food and essential care packages for families in Spalding.
Neil said: “I am proud to be supporting the team who are doing a fantastic job in helping the local community. It is a challenging time for many people, and I am pleased that through the LNER Reserves, I am able to do something to assist families.”
Travel consultant Penny Bond signed up to support Age UK, the NHS and The British Red Cross.
She is also running a project called ‘A letter to a friend, a letter of joy’ and is working with others to send letters and pictures to care home residents to brighten their day.
“As an LNER Reserve, I feel I am doing something positive,” Penny said. “Care home residents are currently very much isolated, with no access to visitors so sending letters, poems and pictures is a way of trying to put a smile on their faces.
“My local community and LNER colleagues across the country are helping.”
LNER managing director David Horne is proud of his team. He said: “In this time of national crisis, it is fantastic that colleagues have been able to stay connected to the communities we serve and help to support them while our key workers are continuing to keep those for whom travel is essential on the move.
“We are delighted with the dedication colleagues have shown, resulting in thousands of hours in volunteering time so far and the hours continue to grow.
“As a responsible business we put our people, customers and communities at the heart of what we do, and this is just one way of doing that.”
LNER Reserves are volunteering in organisations from Scotland to London:
- Local food banks
- Local care homes
- NHS Responders
- Local COVID-19 community response groups
- City Safe
- Junction 42
- North East Ambulance Service
- Local NHS Trusts
- Local Council Support Groups
- Eden Care UK
- Human Aid
Other charities and organisations that have been supported with food donations include FareShare, Food for All at London King’s Cross, the Salvation Army at London King’s Cross, Food Revival Leeds, The Foundry Leeds who are delivering meals to NHS hospital staff, The Health Agency Edinburgh, York City Council, the Magic Hat Cafe at Newcastle and Ambulance stations in Scotland at Falkirk, Stirling and Sauchie.