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Railway Children celebrate National Lottery Funding for London project

Railway Children have been awarded £676,299 of National Lottery funding over five years to support vulnerable children on the capital's transport network.

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Railway Children is celebrating after being awarded £676,299 over five years in National Lottery funding to support its work with young people at risk on the rail network. The money will be used to fund the London Safeguarding on Transport project to help communities in and around stations respond to vulnerability and keep young people safe from harm.

Following a successful pilot in the Northwest, Railway Children’s London project was launched in 2018 to address high levels of children at risk identified by British Transport Police (BTP) and the rail industry. From 2022-2023, the charity accepted referrals from BTP for 279 young people in London where there were multiple indicators of risk or vulnerability, including missing from home or care, criminal exploitation, missing from education and poor mental health. 

The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes, will see Railway Children develop their partnership work through existing Safeguarding Action Groups at London Euston and London Waterloo. The groups bring together communities who work in and around stations to build a network of ‘eyes and ears’ to look out for and respond to vulnerability.

The funding will also be used to expand their reach on the railway lines connected to the major rail hubs and engage with local communities. This will be achieved through appointing a new Community Engagement Worker to develop localised solutions to protect more young people as part of their early intervention and prevention work.

Rob Capener, CEO of Railway Children, said: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way. Now, thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to continue and develop our Safeguarding on Transport Programme to bring rail communities together to make sure more vulnerable young people are safe and supported on London’s transport network.

“Every day, our rail partners are identifying young people who have suffered abuse, neglect and exploitation and this will allow us to intervene early before their risks escalate. It’s also important because it helps us to extend the care and support offered to young people to improve their safety and wellbeing, rebuild family relationships and empower them go on to reach their full potential.”

The National Lottery Community Fund recently launched its new strategy, ‘It starts with community’, which will underpin its efforts to distribute at least £4 billion of National Lottery funding by 2030. 

As part of this, the funder has four key missions, which are to support communities to come together, be environmentally sustainable, help children and young people thrive and enable people to live healthier lives.

National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK. Thanks to them, last year The National Lottery Community Fund was able to distribute over half a billion pounds of life-changing funding to communities.

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