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Southern enforcement team to take on tall challenge for Samaritans

Press release   •   Jun 17, 2019 09:46 BST

REO team -Wayne Harris, Rail Enforcement Manager, Tom Harvey, REO Team Leader at Purley, Tom Stovell, REO Team Leader, and Dillon Xerxes, REO Team Leader at Brighton

After months of training, a group of rail enforcement officers from Southern are taking on the Three Peaks Challenge at the end of June to raise funds for the Samaritans.

The challenge sees participants attempt to climb the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales - all within a 24-hour period.

The team is made up of Brighton-based Wayne Harris, Rail Enforcement Manager, Tom Stovell, REO Team Leader and Dillon Xerxes, REO Team Leader at Brighton, and Tom Harvey, REO Team Leader, based in Purley.

Rail Enforcement Manager, Wayne Harris, said: “We literally just had this crazy idea a couple of months ago that we could do this - or at least give it a go and before we knew it, we already had donations coming in so we've been training ever since. We wanted to raise money for the Samaritans in support of the brilliant work they do in supporting vulnerable people with various mental health issues.”

The Samaritans’ aim is to provide emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. The charity responds to a call every six seconds, answering more than 5 million calls for help every year.

On Saturday June 29 the group will take on the National Three Peaks Challenge and climb the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales in 24-hours.

The three mountains are; Snowdon, in Wales (1085m), Scafell Pike, in England (978m) and Ben Nevis, in Scotland (1345m).

The total walking distance is 23 miles (37km) and the total ascent is 3064 metres (10,052ft). The total driving distance is 462 miles.

Wayne said: “I think it’s fair to say that as a team we wanted to do something memorable, challenging and ultimately rewarding, whilst also raising awareness about the fabulous work the Samaritans do.

“We've decided to raise money for the Samaritans, mainly because in our area the work the organisation does is very close to our hearts. Last year alone, my team were directly responsible for potentially saving the lives of approximately 130 vulnerable people and the Samaritans have been extremely supportive in the training they provide,” he added.

Rachel Henderson, Community Engagement Officer at the Samaritans, said: “We’re delighted that Wayne, Tom, Tom and Dillon – have joined Team Samaritans and are all taking on such a challenge in aid of Samaritans. We want to wish them good luck for the big day and to say a huge thank you for all their support.”

The group have been training three times a week and at the end of May did a ‘practice’ hike up Snowdon to help them prepare.

Katherine Cox, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Southern parent company, Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “This is an incredibly ambitious challenge in aid of such an important organisation. We’re proud to be supporting Wayne, Tom, Dillon and Tom in their fundraising for the Samaritans.”

If you would like to support the fundraising efforts, please visit the JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/wayne-harris13

Anyone can contact Samaritans for free in confidence any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit, and the number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or email jo@samaritans.org or go to www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch where you can talk to one of their trained volunteers face to face.

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

www.southernrailway.com, www.thameslinkrailway.com, www.gatwickexpress.com, www.greatnorthernrail.com