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King’s Cross rail staff get set for fundraising moonlit trek across London

Press release   •   Jun 20, 2019 14:58 BST

King's Cross team Gary Whybrow, Joan Fairbrass, Gareth Jones and colleagues will be raising money for three good causes

King’s Cross railway staff are hoping the moon will light their way as they take part in an overnight trek across London in aid of three worthy causes this weekend.

The team of 16 are supporting three charities close to their hearts - Macmillan Cancer Support, the Stroke Association and Dementia UK – and have already raised an impressive £4,400.

Macmillan was chosen after the charity provided support to family and friends of work colleagues at King’s Cross station, one of whom sadly died in November last year at the age of 33. King’s Cross Station Assistant Gary Whybrow also lost both his father-in-law and brother-in-law to cancer. He found Macmillan to be a “lifeline” to the family with regards to the advice, practical help and support.

The Stroke Association helped Gareth Jones, who works on the ticket gates at King’s Cross, after he suffered from a stroke in October last year. Thankfully Gareth was able to return to work in the New Year on a phased return. He said: “I was given lots of help and information when I had my stroke, including speech therapy.”

For King's Cross station assistant Joan Fairbrass, Dementia UK is a charity of personal importance to her. Joan’s dad suffered with dementia for 10 years before finally succumbing to its effects in January last year. Although her dad spent his final years living in Jamaica, Joan has praised the level of support the charity gives to people in the UK.

Govia Thameslink Railway staff Joan, Gary, Gareth and the rest of the team will be walking a circular 13-mile route overnight from King’s Cross on Saturday, June 22, walking past Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge.

Grandmother Joan, who has worked on the railway for more than 20 years, said: “We just can’t believe how quickly it has come round bearing in mind this is something we were discussing back in February. We’re all excited about it and the nearer it gets, the more we have been discussing it. There’s no turning back now!”

The team have also been overwhelmed by how many donations have been rolling in. Joan added: “I can’t believe how successful it’s been. We’re all just so amazed. It’s made us think about what we should do next. We would like to do something that benefits us as a group and something that also has that feel good factor as well, like supporting a charity.”

To help boost the fundraising total, there has been a cake sale and Gary also set up a ‘WhatsApp car boot sale’ which has proved popular. Staff have been offering unwanted items for sale in return for a donation to the charity pot.

Govia Thameslink Railway’s corporate social responsibility manager Katherine Cox said: “Best of luck to our colleagues this weekend as they raise money for three very worthwhile causes. Their efforts typify the sort of team spirit and supportive culture seen across all stations and trains on our rail network.”

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Govia Thameslink Railway

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:

  • Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
  • Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
  • Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
  • Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria,,,