Railway Children is an international charity fighting to protect children at risk on the streets in the UK and abroad. In this country 100,000 children run away from home every year, and many of them use public transport to do so.

We work with the transport industry on programmes that keep these young people safe and educate those on the transport front line in how best to protect the vulnerable people they may meet. We also have projects to help young people as part of our long-term vision of creating a national safety network.

Our projects

Our projects support young people who British Transport Police (BTP) have identified as at risk. In 2017 British Transport Police dealt with nearly 7,000 incidents where there was a concern for a child’s welfare and in 2019 this year they anticipate this number had to increased to nearly 9,00010,000. We focus our work on areas with the highest number of incidents. Currently we have projects in Manchester, covering the North West of England, Yorkshire, covering The City of York, South and West Yorkshire, East Riding and The Humber and London, supporting children across inner London and selected outer London boroughs.

How we work

Our project workers take referrals directly from BTP when their officers identify a young person at risk using public transport. Our team assesses the young person’s situation, establishes whether they need further support, and identifies who is best placed to provide this. 

Our project workers can:

  • Offer information and advice
  • Advise young people and parents/carers about other services
  • Advocate for young people and/or their parents/carers
  • Work with young people and parents/carers individually or together

Some work is conducted face-to-face and some over the telephone, depending on the needs of the family and young people and their location. Our aim is to launch further projects across the UK at key locations over the next five years.

Who we work with

Our projects only work with young people who have been referred by British Transport Police. 

The North West project can be contacted on stnw@railwaychildren.org.uk.