Charities can now benefit from train delays at Bedford

MBTC-28-10-13- Bedford Station.'b13-952''Commuters stranded at Bedford Station as trains are cancelled due to stormy weather . ENGPNL00120131029102822
MBTC-28-10-13- Bedford Station.'b13-952''Commuters stranded at Bedford Station as trains are cancelled due to stormy weather . ENGPNL00120131029102822

Rail users who claim compensation from train delays can now donate the money directly to charity.

Govia Thameslink Railway’s Delay Repay scheme means passengers are entitled to compensation if their journey is delayed by 15 minutes or longer. It applies to people using Thameslink, Gatwick Express, Southern and Great Northern services.

And now those passengers can elect to give their refund to Samaritans or Railway Children, instead of accepting the payment themselves.

Samaritans is a charity which provides emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the UK and Ireland, often through their telephone helpline.

Ruth Sutherland, Samaritans chief executive officer, said: “Thanks to Govia Thameslink Railway and the generosity of its passengers we can raise awareness of our services and raise vital funds.

“When someone is feeling overwhelmed, it’s vital that they are listened to and supported to work through difficult thoughts and feelings.

“With our confidential 24-hour service, available 365 days a year, we offer a safe place for people to talk any time they like, in their own way – about whatever’s getting to them.”

Railway Children fights for children at risk of abuse and exploitation on the streets of Africa, India and here in the UK. Their work in this country focuses on those finding themselves in danger in and around the transport network, making sure they are kept safe.

Corporate partnerships manager Dave Ellis said: “The Delay Repay scheme and the money donated by customers will have a very real impact upon the lives of vulnerable children here in the UK as well as in India and East Africa. It will also create an even greater awareness of the essential work of Railway Children.”

Govia Thameslink Railway’s corporate social responsibility manager Katherine Cox said: “We received feedback from our customers that they would like to have the option to donate their delay repay compensation to charity if they experience a delay.

“We’re really pleased to partner with Samaritans and Railway Children, who will welcome donations from our customers. Both organisations have a long-standing relationship with the rail industry and make a real difference to the lives of the people they work with.”