Volunteers in discussion

Charity at South Western Railway

Proud to support the local areas we serve

Our network covers over 500 miles, all surrounded by local communities that we can support. Alongside supporting our corporate charity partner Action for Children, we want to engage with local charities across our network who share our vision and values.

Our Aims

The main areas we are focusing on are:

  • Raising awareness for the charities and groups we work with, what they do and why
  • Supporting our people
  • Supporting our local communities

As well as supporting local charities, we also actively support our charity partner, Action for Children as part of FirstGroup. Through this partnership we seek to provide mental health support for disadvantaged children and young people to overcome the trauma they have experienced. Find out more about this partnership at actionforchildren.org.uk

How we support our communities and charities

Charity Support

One way we support charities is by allowing them free of charge access to our stations to collect and promote their cause. We also welcome requests for our train tickets to be used as auction and raffle prizes. For larger campaigns with corporate charities and organisations, we work with our commercial space expert Exterion.

In 2018 and 2019 our station collections raised over £207k in over 220 events across our stations. This included £28,345 for the Poppy Appeal in November 2018.

To apply for train tickets as raffle prizes, or to fundraise on our stations, please read the terms and conditions below and start your application.

Terms and Conditions

Fundraising Application

Apply to raise funds for charity at one of our stations


Fundraising activities

Throughout the year we have worked together to run local fundraising events. These range from local bake sales to static cycle rides and individual sponsorships of corporate events such as the London Marathon.

Here are just some of the great events we ran in 2018/19:

Colleague events

Colleague events are held throughout the year, including bake sales, jumper days and a step up challenge. These all raised around £500 for our corporate charity, Action for Children.

Static bike rides

Holding static bike ride events to raise money for good causes. The Clapham station team and the British Transport police raised £1,200 for Action for Children, and the Waterloo station team raised £1,253 for the Snowdrop Trust.

Shoebox Appeal

Our shoebox appeal with the Ace of Spades homeless charity at Clapham. Passengers and staff donated over 430 shoeboxes for the homeless in December 2018.

Supporting homeless charities

Donations to three homeless charities including Two Saints hostel in Southampton, Ace of Clubs in Clapham and the Salisbury Trust.

Valentine's Day

Supporting the British Heart Foundation on Valentines day, with a ‘love wall’ at Clapham station. This raised £360.

Charity ambassadors

We have a network of charity ambassadors/champions across our network. These include FirstGroup graduates who are responsible for raising a set amount of money for our corporate charity Action for Children. Our ambassadors also do a great job of running local events and getting their teams involved and passionate about charity. Without them, none of our fundraising events would have been possible.

Lost Property

We make sure that none of the items that end up in Lost Property are disposed of. Once the appropriate collection time has expired, we donate:

  • spectacles to Vision Aid overseas
  • warm winter clothes and sleeping bags to the homeless through our partnership with Wrap Up London
  • toys and children’s clothing are set aside for local hospices and to support our partnership with Action for Children.

We will continue support our local communities where we can, and ensure that nothing is disposed of which could help an individual anywhere.

See how you can help support your local station

Community Rail Partnerships

Find out about our Community Rail Partnerships and Station Adoption schemes

Find out more

Try the Train

Find out about our Try the Train days, led by one of our Community Ambassadors

Find out more

Adopt a Station

Our Station Adoption scheme allows our local community to take a part in helping keep our stations attractive and welcoming

Find out more