Role of AWC employees celebrated in Railway Heroes exhibition

Avanti West Coast employees are featuring in an exhibition organised by the National Railway Museum that celebrates the contribution of rail workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The online exhibition, titled Railway Heroes, recognises the selfless achievements of people from across the rail industry over the last 12 months.


Featured in the 16 case studies are four from Avanti West Coast, including Janet Bamber and Hussain Master, both Train Managers based at Preston.


Fellow Train Manager, CJ Morgan, and Seema Jadva, who works in human resources, are also profiled after receiving special dispensation by the train operator to volunteer their working hours to support the Metropolitan Police as Specials on the streets of London.


Janet dedicated her time to a community group volunteering to make scrubs for the NHS. Using experience from her previous career as a seamstress, Janet spent seven hours a day sewing thousands of scrubs, dentist gowns and accessories for NHS workers in Lancashire.


Hussain increased his volunteering hours at a local foodbank in Preston, helping to deliver hundreds of hot meals to NHS workers and the wider community.


Seema and CJ were both able to commit extra hours and take on additional shifts while volunteering as Specials for the Metropolitan police - providing support to frontline colleagues, and safety, visibility, and reassurance in its response to the COVID-19 Crisis.


Each of their stories will feature alongside a portrait photograph from renowned press photographer, Charlotte Graham.


Once lockdown restrictions are lifted, a physical exhibition will open simultaneously at the National Railway Museum in York, and Locomotion in Shildon, County Durham.


Phil Whittingham, Managing Director at Avanti West Coast said: “It’s an honour for Avanti West Coast to see our people recognised in this exhibition alongside the rest of the rail industry.


“Whether it’s keeping people connected, dedicating time to help others or bolstering the efforts of the emergency services, the railway and its workers have played a vital role throughout the pandemic.


“I am so proud of their efforts to support the UK’s response to the coronavirus crisis and make a difference in the local communities we serve.”


Judith McNicol, Director of the National Railway Museum, said: “This exhibition is an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to the thousands of railway key workers who have kept the country going over the last year. From delivering essential supplies and transporting NHS workers, to selfless volunteering, the stories featured in the exhibition are an inspiration and fully deserving of wider recognition.”


The Railway Heroes exhibition can be viewed here.