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Young people are on right track, says Network Rail boss

Release Date: 29 Jun 2017

Young people learning carpentry skills at a Barnardo’s centre in east London traded practical tips with the chief executive of Network Rail when he dropped in on one of their classes.

Mark Carne rolled up his sleeves and got stuck in to the task at hand in the workshop at The Hub Construction Skills Centre in Stepney Green on Thursday, June 29 to encourage Network Rail colleagues to consider volunteering with the children’s charity and others.

He found out how Barnardo’s supports local young people who have struggled in mainstream education to develop the functional and life skills they need to succeed, while helping them move on to further opportunities for education, employment and training.

Mr Carne said:

It was a privilege to be able to come here and see first-hand how Barnardo's and the amazing team here are helping to change the lives of vulnerable children.

The support offered by projects such as this help to provide these young people with opportunities and skills that can enable them to transform their lives. Most importantly, it provides them with hope.  

Every child should be able to look into the future and find happiness; that’s why Network Rail’s employees chose Barnardo’s as their charity of choice. As well as fundraising for the charity, our people volunteer their time assisting in activities like the CV workshops that this project provides. As a company we work hard to engage and improve the lives of those in communities surrounding the railway and partnerships such as this help us to achieve that aim.

Network Rail entered into a partnership with Barnardo’s at the end of last year after its employees chose it as their ‘Charity of Choice’ until March 2019. Employees have up to five days’ volunteer leave a year and a big part of the partnership is focused on using these days to support the charity’s work.

Sarah Lee, Barnardo’s Director of Fundraising, said:

In a modern, strategic business partnership, volunteering provides the engagement that drives other areas of the partnership. It’s essential to Barnardo’s that we encourage volunteering in order to help more disadvantaged and vulnerable children.

That’s why we are so pleased to be working with Network Rail to deliver an internal volunteering campaign and Mark’s presence here today shows his commitment to the cause.

Network Rail supports Barnardo’s through fundraising, volunteering, gifts in kind and payroll giving to help the charity with their work to transform the lives of some of the UK’s most vulnerable children.


Notes to editors

For more details please contact Dan Hodges on 07887 737 048 or email

Pictures available. Picture caption: Network Rail Chief Executive Mark Carne creates a corner joint with help from Zafar, 16 at The Hub Construction Skills Centre, a service run by Barnardo’s in Stepney Green, east London

The Hub Construction Skills Centre

Services run by Barnardo’s at The Hub include:

• Alternative Education Provision - Providing an alternative to mainstream education, working with students from local schools in years 10 and 11. The focus of the curriculum is an introduction to construction skills, which sits alongside traditional functional skills subjects, Maths, English and ICT. Students who take part it this programme have already been excluded from mainstream education or are at risk of being excluded.

• Making the Most of your Money – A London-wide programme working with young people and parents to build financial skills. The project works with colleges, children’s centres, leaving care services and other voluntary organisations, through group workshops and one to one support.

• Talent Match – An employability programme working with young carers aged between 18 and 25. The project works with young people to prepare them for work, supporting access to training opportunities and working with employers to understand the challenges faced by young carers.

• YouTurn – A new programme working with young people aged 11-24 addressing experiences of gangs and serious youth violence. Providing prevention work, early intervention in the form of education and intensive 1:1 support.

• Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Missing service – Working with young people at risk or having experienced CSE, also providing education to organisation to help prevent incidents of CSE.


Last year 272,000 children, young people and families were supported by Barnardo’s through more than 1,000 services across the UK, including young carers, care leavers, foster carers and adoptive parents, and through training and skills or parenting classes.

We work to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children and every year we help thousands of families to build a better future. But we cannot do it without you.

Registered charity No. 216250 and SC037605.

Network Rail

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 36,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.

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