Three train drivers from Southern Rail have smashed their fundraising target by relay-rowing the distance from London to Paris in 24 hours on Brighton Station concourse.
The trio are on their way to tripling their target of £2,000 for Cancer Research UK with a staggering £1,541 raised by bucket collectors alone and a further £4,200 in pledges plus donations on their sponsorship page.
Driver competency manager Richard Quinn and drivers Gary Harman and Richard Brown came away with raw hands but not too many aches and pains after the rowing machine marathon that began at 12 noon on Friday (11 January).
Richard Quinn, 42, from Portslade, said: “Everything went to plan and we were amazed by the amount of support we got from everyone. We had many people telling us inspirational and sadly tragic stories about how cancer had affected their lives, which only pushed us on more.
“I think we all suffered between 3-6am but once the station opened again on Saturday and people started to arrive it became easier.”
All three have had their lives touched by cancer. A colleague of theirs, who was only in his thirties, died from the disease recently.
Richard added: “Our colleague’s death at such a young age affected us all. In the past year, five of my direct family members plus work colleagues have been diagnosed or treated for cancer. Sadly, I’ve known of several deaths because of this cruel disease.”
Richard’s father, 71, who was successfully treated for colorectal cancer, came along to support his son.
Richard Brown, 37, and also from Brighton, said: “I lost my best friend Elena to Non-Hodgkin lymphoma two years ago after a long battle. It made me painfully aware of just how cruel and non-discriminating cancer could be.”
The drivers’ sponsorship page remains up and running for donations at https://bit.ly/2sdmYrR
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