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Virgin Trains gets onboard with World Mental Health Day

Press release   •   Oct 10, 2019 09:33 BST

This World Mental Health Day, Virgin Trains is introducing simple things that look after our mental health both onboard its services and at stations.

On Thursday 10 October until 12pm, Virgin Trains customers who purchase a hot drink onboard will be able to take another for free to share with a friend or stranger – to get people talking on their journeys.

Throughout the day customers buying a hot drink and cake will be supporting Virgin’s charity partner, Rethink Mental Illness with a donation from each sale going to support the charity’s work.

The inter-city operator will also be welcoming Samaritans to stations along its west coast route to raise awareness of their Real People, Real Stories campaign.

Natasha Grice, Executive Director of People and Responsible Business at Virgin Trains, said: "Through our partnership with Rethink Mental Illness and our work with Samaritans we know that a simple conversation can make a big difference to our mental wellbeing. So, this World Mental Health Day we're helping to get people talking by encouraging them to have a chat over a hot drink with someone - a stranger or friend - on their journey." 

Brian Dow, Deputy CEO of Rethink Mental Illness, said: “A train journey can offer a chance to press pause on your day, and it shouldn’t have to involve putting your headphones on and closing off your surroundings. We’re delighted that Virgin Trains are using World Mental Health day to encourage people to strike up a conversation with someone around them. Making time for something like this outside your routine can benefit your wellbeing, so let’s make time for this on Thursday. Who knows? It could become a habit.”

ENDS

About Virgin Trains

Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the West Coast inter-city route under the Virgin Trains brand, revolutionising travel on one of the UK’s key rail arteries.

The network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester 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 ahead of other long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.

Virgin Trains has a proud record of challenging the status quo - from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme, introducing the industry-leading onboard entertainment streaming service, BEAM, and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.

Virgin Trains operated the East Coast route between March 1, 2015 and June 24, 2018. In that time, we invested £75m to create a more personalised travel experience, including over £40m in the existing fleet. Customers have benefitted from 48 additional services between Edinburgh and London every week, and an extra 22 Saturday services between Leeds and London – a total of 1.74 million additional seats since May 2015.

Working together, the partnership railway of the public and private sectors has published a long-term plan, called In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity, to change and improve Britain’s railway. The plan will secure almost £85bn of additional economic benefits to the country whilst enabling further investment and improvement, and contains four commitments which will see rail companies: strengthen our economic contribution to the country; improve customers’ satisfaction; boost the communities we serve; and, create more and better jobs in rail. For more information go to Britain Runs on Rail.

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Press Office: 0845 000 3333.