���A giant leap��� for RBF as new era of support begins

railway people
railway people
The newsletter from RBF March 2015
“A giant leap” for RBF as new
era supporting
of support begins
railway people
New services, new partners
and specialist staff are
the main elements of the
biggest changes to the RBF
in decades.
The charity is working to introduce further ways
of helping those in need in addition to its more
traditional method of providing assistance
through financial grants. An official launch of
the new services will take place later in 2015.
RBF is aiming to become the preferred
destination for current and former railway
workers looking for support and advice - a
one-stop-shop where those in need can call
up and either receive direct assistance or be
signposted to a partnering organisation who
may be more specialised in certain areas.
To achieve this RBF will initially work in
collaboration with Manchester Citizens
Advice Bureau (CAB) and Turn2Us.
RBF will offer a telephone helpline as a
new service, operating as a first point of
contact for all welfare enquiries. Examples
of enquiries may include support with elderly
parents, maternity and childcare advice and
bereavement counselling.
Manchester CAB are in a position to give
specialist advice on complex cases referred
by us. And if people want to seek help without
contacting anyone, they will be able to do so
via the Turn2Us portal on RBF’s website.
The overall idea is to offer assistance in a
wider variety of forms that can be specifically
tailored to an individual’s situation. Looking
further ahead RBF is hoping to diversify into
other services as the need grows.
Finally, the charity has set up a business
arrangement with high street store Argos.
This is so that goods requested by applicants
such as fridges and cookers can be sourced
from one place to ensure consistency in
quality and service.
“These changes may be a small step for
some charities,” said chairman Tim Shoveller,
“but they represent a giant leap for RBF.”
The new services need an extra £160,000 a year
So how can you help?
Supporting the RBF is no different to any
other charity - you do something exhausting, daft or fun and friends and family
donate to your charity.
Bike rides, walks, runs, swims, bake sales,
quiz nights, raffles, dress ups, dress downs,
beard growing, head shaving, they all count.
But to be really supportive why not make
regular donations through payroll giving?
You can donate by filling out the enclosed
payroll giving form, the slip on the back of
this newsletter, or visit our website for many
more ways to give. For more information call
Paula McArdle on 01270 251316.
Please donate now. Call us on 01270 251316 or go to www.rbfcharity.org.uk
RBF Charity
Shoveller begins building Abellio goes
New RBF chairman looks to future
Tim Shoveller started his railway career as a
guard in Guildford, Surrey 23 years ago and
during his rise to the top he has experienced
pretty much anything the industry could
throw at him.
He was never a graduate trainee or fast
tracked – he took the long way to reach the
Now managing director of the Network
Rail–South West Trains Alliance, Tim’s also
been MD of East Midlands Trains and has
held top posts at Virgin, Midland Mainline,
Wessex Trains and Eurostar.
His experience of all aspects of railway life
will stand him in good stead as he takes the
reins of the railways’ own charity – RBF.
Tim has hit the ground running as chair-
man having inherited from his predecessor,
Abellio’s Dominic Booth, a good platform
from which to build.
He describes how the charity plans
to move forward: “The advice we have,
following a thorough strategic review of
our activities, is that we should be looking
beyond RBF-funded financial solutions
– the so-called ‘fridge and funeral’ claims.
“We intend to offer advice about other
sources of benefit or grants and at tackling
the root causes of problems.
“This approach is partly about being
smarter with our funds but also it’s about
modernising and making more accessible
and effective our offer of support to those
who need it.
“To fulfil this new service we are forming strategic partnerships with independent
providers of help and advice,” he explained.
Trials have begun and Tim is confident.
His enthusiasm for the task ahead is
self-evident. That’s because he knows how
important the RBF’s services are to the
people he’s met in his career.
“RBF is as relevant today as it’s always been,”
he said, “and these changes are about maintaining that relevancy. However, they need
industry support, some £160,000 every year.
“So please support us and encourage your
friends and colleagues to dig deep.
“It’s a great investment for the railway.”
Fundraising boost for
FirstGroup employees
Fundraising FirstGroup employees can
double their donation to charities such as
RBF thanks to the company’s Matched
Funding Scheme.
Under the scheme every staff member
can claim up to £200 to boost their own
fundraising efforts.
So, if someone raises £200 for charity
• Thursday 23 April 2015, RBF Spring Ball,
National Railway Museum, York
• Saturday 26 April 2015, London Marathon.
RBF runner is Danny Williams
• Thursday 18 June 2015, RBF Golf Day
Hendon Golf Club
• Tuesday 8 September 2015, Rail Freight
Group Annual Awards
First will give another £200. If two people
each raise £200 First will give £400.
Katie Smart FirstGroup’s CR and
community manager said: “The scheme is
growing in popularity. Charities such as the
RBF can be supported through the scheme
and applications from any FirstGroup
employee are welcome.”
Where you can support the RBF
• Thursday 17 September 2015, National
Rail Awards Grosvenor Hotel London
• Friday 2 October 2015, RBF National
Dinner, Glasgow
• Thursday 25 February 2016, Rail Business
Awards, London Hilton Park Lane
Keep up to date through RBF’s website
for gold
Abellio, the operator of three UK rail
franchises – Greater Anglia, Northern Rail
and Merseyrail - is the latest business to
become a Gold Package supporter of RBF.
Abi Smith welcomed them on board
saying: “I am thrilled to have Abellio as a
supporter. The Gold Package includes two
teams in RBF’s annual golf day and two
tables at our annual dinner and ball.
“Importantly it also guarantees us funding.
The more rail companies who become supporters the more rail people we can help.”
Dominic Booth, Abellio’s chief operating officer said: “I’m delighted to confirm
Abellio’s status as a Gold supporter of the
RBF during 2015. The outstanding work of
RBF reaches deep into communities to bring
much needed care and support to members
of our railway family.
“We are proud to support this incredibly
valuable work.”
romp reaps
A great night out at the RailStaff awards
ended up with RBF £4,500 better off thanks
to the generosity of the award dinner guests
at Coventry’s
Ricoh Arena in
To widen
awareness of
the charity’s
activities, RBF
decided to
support the awards by sponsoring the
HR Person of the Year category.
Abi Smith, who presented the award
was pleased with the night’s work. “We’ve
enjoyed a high profile by being involved
in this event,” she said. “These are people
awards and we are a people’s charity. It
makes sense.”
Guests were first entertained by trapeze
artists, fire-eaters and aerial silk performers before the funfair rides, dodgems and
carnival sideshows were revealed.
“I thank RailStaff for their cooperation
and everyone who made a donation on the
night,” said Abi.
Holiday tragedy
A big thank you...
Without our supporters and fundraising
champions our work would be severely
restricted. RBF says thanks once again.
The death of a loved one
is a tragedy. For Philip
Holmes, a station retailer
with Merseyrail, that it
was his wife who died,
aged just 55 and while on
holiday is almost beyond
description. This is
his story in his
own words.
To Unipart Rail for making RBF the charity
of choice at a spring 2015 event.
“It was our first family holiday abroad and it
ended in tragedy.
My beautiful wife Vivian, who was only 55
years old, died having contracted a particularly aggressive strain of pneumonia.
To say it was a shock and unexpected
would be an understatement. Devastating
does not begin to describe how we felt.
Viv and I had gone to Menorca with our
daughter Hazel, her fiancé Richie and our
two grandchildren.
Coming back I sat next to an empty seat,
a constant, deeply painful reminder of our
So much to be done but I couldn’t do it by
myself, I was in pieces, breaking up inside.
Family and friends were magnificent. People were there to give support, but money
was tight. We had spent on the holiday and
life insurance was something we were going
to look at some time in the future, when we
were older.
So I turned to the RBF in my darkest hour.
I support RBF through my payroll and knew
they might be able to help me when I needed
to fund Viv’s funeral. They came to my aid.
They were discreet, professional and efficient in helping me with funding to ensure
everything about the funeral went well.
I cannot thank them enough for helping
me get through my ordeal.
Viv literally fell into my arms when I met
her. She tripped on the dancefloor and I
caught her.
34 years later she died in those same arms.
I treasure every second we spent together,
those special memories are mine forever and
I am a lucky man to have them.”
More and more people are
turning to the RBF for help.
We rely on your donations.
Please give to RBF today.
Great War railway heroes help RBF
RBF is to benefit from a book written by
a railwayman about railway people who
served in the Great War.
Jeremy Higgins, director of customer
services at Cross Country Trains and army
reservist, wrote his book ‘Great War Railwaymen’ after looking at a war memorial
at Leamington Spa station in 2007.
Jeremy, who had just returned from
active duty in Iraq, decided to write a book
about the railway people who served and
died during the war.
“It has taken me seven years to research
12,500 of the 20,000-plus railwaymen
who died in the Great War. Their stories are
fascinating and hopefully will be of interest
to a new generation.
Jeremy’s book will raise money for both
RBF and the Army Benevolent Fund.
The book, ‘Great War Railwaymen’ by Jeremy Higgins is available from Amazon
To the Rail Business Awards for supporting
us again in 2015. The RBA has backed us
since 2007, some eight years. We raised
over £5,000.
To the National Rail Awards and to the
Rail Freight Group Awards for agreeing to
support RBF this year.
To IMechE for adopting RBF at its 2015 event.
To Simon Osborne for his excellent and
extended work as RBF’s acting chairman
until Tim Shoveller took hold of the reins.
RBF thanks you Simon.
And the
winner is…
We’re having a Ball!
Tickets for the very first RBF Spring Ball are
selling fast so hurry and buy yours now!
With a ‘Carnival’ theme and held at the
National Railway Museum in York on 23 April
2015 the event has something for everyone.
As well as being surrounded by the
industry’s heritage there will be carnivalstyle stalls in the museum where, according
to Sean English event organiser and Grand
Central’s chief operating officer, guests can
‘have some fun before the serious matter of
fundraising begins’.
“We’re not expecting to break any fund
raising records this year,” he said, “but we are
By sending a donation today you
can make a real difference to
someone’s life.
Whatever you give will help make
a difference.
Please make your donation using one of
the following methods:
By post: I would like to help a member
of the railway family today and enclose
a cheque for £
payable to RBF.
By Phone: To make a donation using a
debit or credit card call 01270 251316
Website: visit our website
www.rbfcharity.org.uk and click on the
‘Donate now’ button
hoping the Spring Ball will soon be as well
established and beneficial to the charity as
the Golf Day and the Scottish Dinner.”
A table of ten costs just £1,000 while
tickets are available at £110 each.
For more information about table
sales or sponsorship contact Woodhouse
Communications on 01444 221000. Woodhouse
is handling these on behalf of the RBF.
Do you, or someone you
know need help?
If you do, get in touch with us.
Danny Williams, operations director at East
Coast, has been selected to run for RBF in
the 2015 London Marathon.
Career railwayman Danny was chosen
by RBF’s interim CEO Abi Smith following
a search to find
someone willing
to run and raise
funds for the
Danny, with
three recent
marathons under
his belt, was a
strong candidate
right from the
word go, thanks
in no small part
to his family ties
to the industry.
“The railway is in my blood. I am privileged and it is an absolute pleasure to have
been selected to run the 2015 London
Marathon for RBF.
“I am pleased to be able to give something back to the industry. I will give my all
for an industry that has given me so much.”
You can support Danny through his Just
Giving page:
Gift Aid. You can make your donation go even further if you are a UK taxpayer and you
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in the past 4 years
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Please send the completed form to: FREEPOST RRBA-KSXA-RYAE RBF,
Electra Way, Crewe, Cheshire CW1 6HS - There is no need to attach a stamp.
T: 01270 251316
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W: www.rbfcharity.org.uk
RBF, Electra Way, Crewe, Cheshire CW1 6HS
Founded in 1858. Incorporated by
Royal Charter 1949
RBF is the working name of the Railway
Benevolent Institution
Registered Charity no. 206312
Editor: Paul Lawson
Tel: 01444 221000
Woodhouse Communications
Design: Woodhouse Creative