NATIONAL Express train operator c2c and generous passengers have combined to donate over Â£650 to the local Basildon and Thurrock branch of The Samaritans.
c2c donated over Â£450 to the charity, which was chosen by employees to benefit following the company’s annual staff survey. Â£1 was donated for each employee who responded, and past beneficiaries have included Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Indee Rose Trust.
A further Â£225 was donated by generous c2c passengers at Grays and Pitsea stations. Samaritans volunteers were joined by staff from c2c and from NCP, who manage the local car park, for a collection drive at the stations last week.
Franco Korosec, fundraiser for the Basildon and Thurrock branch of The Samaritans, said: "We’re really chuffed with the amount that has been raised. Thank you to c2c, the local staff and all the generous passengers for making us welcome and donating so much money."
The Samaritans has recently launched a major new campaign to reduce railway suicides called "We don’t just hear you, we listen". The campaign is aimed at those who are struggling to cope with a range of everyday issues such relationship breakdown and job loss. Posters across the railway network show that while on the surface friends and family may think they’re coping, in reality they may be feeling vulnerable and in need of support.
The campaign signposts people to The Samaritans’ free helpline, 116 123 and the expert listening services their volunteers can offer.
Iain Palmer, c2c Security and Revenue Protection Manager, said: "We have worked really closely with The Samaritans in recent years to try and help vulnerable people on the railways. We wanted to take this partnership a step further, so it was great we could make this donation and that so many of our customers were happy to dig deep too."
Last year c2c customers generously donated over Â£15,000 to the range of charities who held collections at local stations, while c2c donated over Â£60,000 to local charities and community groups in the form of money, special trains and free tickets.
Local charities who want to arrange a collection at a c2c station can register online at: www.c2c-online.co.uk/media/9994546/c2c-charity-bucket-collection-request-form.pdf.