“The Responsibility Train”
In May, we launched our ‘Responsibility Train’ in association with BITC. The train, which can be seen along our route this year, celebrates all the CSR work we have achieved over the course of the franchise and signifies our ambitions to do even more! To mark the launch, we involved stakeholders from big business, charity and government, in an onboard roundtable discussion about what best practice looks like when it comes to involvement in the community. Our Managing Director and ten community champions also took part in the discussion.
We are pleased to have been shortlisted for the first ever Sustainable Development Award at this year’s National Rail Awards in September. This is a great endorsement for the CSR team who have worked hard to make us trailblazers in this area.
Ongoing Community Engagement
We continue to put time and energy into supporting the Virgin StartUp initiative, designed to help entrepreneurs, and is a key aspect of our work with BITC.
We are particularly keen to engage with microbusinesses that can provide us with local products for sale on our services, and we have already had some successes in this area such as with local milk suppliers and the manufacturers of the popular Tilting Ale.
We have also enthusiastically developed the Pop-Up Shop idea at our stations and regularly hold events to support and showcase these small businesses’ products.
We recognise our importance as an employer, and have successfully applied to become an Apprenticeship Trailblazer, taking on young people across our business. We are also committed to supporting former offenders to get back into work, and at the same time benefiting from the talents they offer.
Going forward, our work with the local communities will be supported by Community Champions who have been selected for each of the areas we serve across our business.