The #BigStationSleepout returns
On March 14th 2024, hundreds of people will be swapping their comfy beds for sleeping bags to spend the night in railway stations across the UK to raise vital funds for children at risk.
The Railway Children Sleepout 2024: one night of hardship for a lifetime of change.
If you’re looking for an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children around the world, join us for our annual #BigStationSleepout this spring. Last year’s event saw 360 people sleeping at nine stations across the UK and raising over £170,000!
For 2024, we’re bringing it back and it’s even bigger with 12 sleepout locations, including Glasgow Central, Manchester Piccadilly, Derby, Leeds, Birmingham New Street, London Waterloo, London Liverpool Street, London St Pancras, London Bridge and Swansea. So, if you’re passing through one of these stations on March 14th, feel free to stop and chat to the participants, make a donation or sponsor those taking part.
Of course, this event doesn’t replicate the hardships faced by the children we work with, who often don’t have anywhere safe to sleep at night, but it will help to raise awareness of the issues and difficulties they face. And the more we can do that, the better chance we have at making a difference.
Gather a team of friends, family or colleagues or go it alone and challenge yourself to sleep on a cold, hard station floor, all while raising funds for Railway Children. You’ll have to give up your home comforts for the night, but at least you’ll have shelter, warm food and drink, companionship and the knowledge that it’s all for a good cause.
Railway Children CEO, Rob Capener, said: “Our Sleepout always has a brilliant atmosphere and we’re hoping this year’s event will have a big impact with the help of our supporters and the rail community.
"Working closely with the British Transport Police, we know that hundreds of vulnerable young people are identified on the UK rail network every day. Many are running away from difficult situations at home, being groomed by abusers or exploited by county lines gangs. The challenges children and young people face are more prevalent than ever with increasing levels of poverty, exploitation, mental health crisis and the lasting effects of the pandemic on their wellbeing and development.
"The Sleepout event is a great way to raise vital funds for our programmes that help us reach children in need of urgent support while increasing awareness of our work with thousands of people who use the transport system every day.”
Andrew Wilkins, Finance Director at VolkerRail, said: “VolkerRail has, for many years, been supporting Railway Children and the valuable work they do to make the lives of countless vulnerable young people much better. We are delighted to be able to continue our support by sponsoring and participating in the 2024 Sleepout.
“I have taken part in all the previous Sleepouts and whilst it is always a cold, uncomfortable and sometimes noisy experience with not much sleep, it is also a memorable and uplifting experience, shared with others. I am fortunate, as all participants are, that we can go home the next day back to our warm and comfortable houses. Each year as I’m travelling home, I think of all the young people who have also spent the previous night sleeping outside – alone, hungry, cold, uncomfortable and often in danger – and who will be doing the same that night. I think about how different their lives are, how fortunate we are and realise why we support Railway Children.”
Keeping children safe from violence, abuse and exploitation for more than 25 years
Railway Children work to transform the lives of vulnerable young people across the UK, India and Tanzania. Every day, thousands of children face violence, abuse and exploitation at transport hubs and on the streets. We aim to reach them before they come to further harm and provide them with the safety and support they need.
The Sleepout event is just one of the ways Railway Children raises vital funds to keep these children safe and make sure they have a brighter future.
We are delighted that the 2024 Sleepout event will be sponsored by Network Rail and VolkerRail and their generosity will mean even more of the money raised by participants can go directly to our work with children and young people.