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The many ways to get involved with Rail Aid 2021

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The many ways to get involved with Rail Aid 2021
Rail Aid is aiming to raise funds to bridge the £1 million funding gap for the Railway Children as a result of the pandemic.

Following its success in supporting Railway Children last year, Rail Aid is asking for people to break out their best dance moves, take a long walk, put in some pedal power, travel through Scotland with Santa, give gifts to auction or devise your own way to bring in donations.

Rail Aid became known as the railways answer to Children in Need after it was formed to help much-loved charity Railway Children. During the pandemic, Railway Children, which formed to help children in the UK, Africa in India who find themselves in unbearable situations through neglect or poverty, suddenly found itself without its crucial fundraising events programme.

Rail Aid was the solution. Backed by a number of luminaries across the rail sector, including Sir Peter Hendy, Andy Byford and Dylan Crowther, the event looked to find inventive ways in which people could raise money for Railway Children throughout the pandemic.

As COVID-19 is still impacting events, Rail Aid is doing all it can to rally rail for fundraising events in 2021.

These include:

Walk the line: A 13 or 26 mile walk along the Tissington Trail in Derbyshire. The walk along the disused Buxton to Ashbourne railway line is mainly flat and takes in the old signal box at Hartington station, which is working and open, as well as a 600-metre tunnel at the end of the line.

The Tissington Trail runs for 13 miles from Parsley Hay in the north to Ashbourne in the south.

Get on track: Challenge colleagues and walk, run, scoot or cycle 26,201km – the distance between Railway Children’s flagship projects in England, India and Tanzania. The challenge is now open. Sign up and register your miles here.

Love train challenge: The dance off is back! A fun filled, rail industry challenge to make everyone smile. Create a fun entry, more than one entry per company is allowed, and let colleagues vote for the entry they enjoy the most – all for a great cause. Find out more here.

The dance off can be performed in the privacy of your own office!

Santa trains: What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than joining Santa himself for a magical journey full of festive cheer that will help bring joy to children facing difficulties around the world. Organised by Scotrail to bring the communities they serve together at this special time of year, there will be various routes and departures from Edinburgh, taking in some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery.

Scotrail is organising Santa trains for children of all ages.

Donate auction items: And finally, there will be an auction of some amazing railway items and experiences so Rail Aid is looking for items to be donated – either Railwayana or experiences money can’t buy, such as a ride in a train cab or even non-railway related ones, we want to hear from you! Contact the team here.

Donate railway-related items to be auctioned for Rail Aid.

Do your own thing: This is not an exhaustive list – people who want to do their own thing are welcome too! Let Rail Aid 2021 know what you are doing to raise money and they’ll recognise your efforts – drop them a line here.

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