Virgin Trains on the west coast announces new charity partnership with Rethink Mental Illness
Rethink Mental Illness Media Team
Today marks the launch of an exciting new charity partnership between Virgin Trains on the west coast and Rethink Mental Illness. The partnership aims to raise awareness of issues relating to mental health and offer support to Virgin Trains employees and local communities across the UK.
Virgin Trains colleagues will be raising money throughout the year with a programme of fundraising activities designed to work with local communities in and around its stations – reaching millions of customers across the network. The partnership will see Rethink Mental Illness in England, alongside partner charities Hafal in Wales and Support in Mind Scotland collaborate with Virgin Trains’ Community Champions to organise local initiatives and campaigns.
Virgin Trains on the west coast will be marking the launch of its new partnership with Rethink Mental Illness on May 4th with a ‘May the 4th be with you’ Star Wars dress-up fundraising day. The partnership will also have a big focus on the mental wellbeing of Virgin Trains’ employees - raising awareness of the importance of good mental health in and outside of the workplace. This will include training opportunities, such as online modules and special events.
Virgin Trains has long placed mental health at the centre of its responsible business agenda, the announcement of the partnership marks the handing over of the baton from previous partner the Mental Health Foundation. The Mental Health Foundation was instrumental in helping Virgin Trains lift the lid on mental health and raise awareness amongst both colleagues and customers across its network.
Patrick McGrath Executive Director of Human Resources at Virgin Trains on the west coast said:
“We’re so proud of what we’ve achieved with the Mental Health Foundation. Together we raised awareness within our business and amongst the communities we serve about an issue that affects so many people’s lives. But it doesn’t stop there, mental health continues to be a big focus for us and we’re excited to be partnering with Rethink Mental Illness for the next stage of a very important journey.”
Emma Malcolm, Associate Director for Fundraising and Supporter Engagement at Rethink Mental Illness said:
“It’s great to see Virgin Trains West Coast continuing to put mental health centre stage across the business, and Rethink Mental Illness are really excited to be leading on this new partnership, working with our partner charities, Hafal in Wales and Support in Mind Scotland. Throughout the next year, we are looking forward to developing a range of fundraising activities, alongside new training and support for staff that will continue to raise awareness of mental health problems, and embed understanding, ensuring that everyone has the tools to hand to support their mental wellbeing both at work and in our communities.”
About Virgin Trains
Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the East Coast and West Coast inter-city routes under the Virgin Trains brand. Together, they are on track to revolutionise rail travel across the UK.
The combined network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, York and London.
Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. Customers consistently rate Virgin Trains as one of the top long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.
On the East Coast route, £140m is being invested to create a more personalised travel experience. This includes a major fleet revamp, smarter stations and exciting new routes. From May 2016, there will be 42 additional services (22,000 extra seats) per week between Edinburgh and London. 2018 will see the introduction of completely new Azuma trains being built in the UK by Hitachi.
The West Coast route has a proud record of challenging the status quo - from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.
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Press Office: 0845 000 3333.
About Rethink Mental Illness
Rethink Mental Illness directly supports 60,000 people in England every year, whether they are experiencing depression or anxiety for the first time, or require long-term support to cope with bipolar disorder, psychosis or schizophrenia. Millions access our online information and support, and we improve lives for many more through our campaigning.
Hafal is Wales’ leading charity for people with serious mental illness and their carers. Covering all areas of Wales, Hafal is an organisation managed by the people we support: individuals whose lives have been affected by serious mental illness.
About Support in Mind Scotland
Support in Mind Scotland aims is to improve the quality of life of anyone whose mental health problem or mental illness has a serious impact on their life or the lives of others including families, carers and supporters. We deliver services to around 2,000 people a year through 21 projects across Scotland.