Prostate Cancer UK benefits from GB Railfreight fundraiser

British rail freight operator GB Railfreight has brought some Christmas cheer to the Prostate Cancer UK charity. A railtour organised by the company raised over 147,000 pounds (163,000 euros). The voyage across the network started in London at Victoria station on 2 September and took four days to reach London Paddington on 5 September.

The “GBRf 202” railtour gave guest passengers a unique opportunity to experience many iconic parts of the UK, as well as traversing tracks unusually frequented by passenger carrying trains. The marathon event raised a record sum in support of the charity, which has been promoted and highlighted by GBRf throughout the year.

Uncommon railtour highlights most common cancer

Having departed London Victoria on Thursday 2 September 2021, the four-day charity charter travelled across different parts of the UK rail network, finishing at London Paddington on Sunday 5 September 2021. ‘GBRf 2021’ was the company’s third 4-day railtour, having raised over a quarter of a million pounds from its previous two marathon charity charters. The success of this railtour was underpinned by the support of the wider rail industry and 50 volunteers GBRf colleagues who gave up their own time to work as train drivers and stewards.

Volunteers and organisers of the GBRf 2021 Railtour line up for a well-deserved photocall (GBRf)

The funds raised £147,215, which will go towards supporting Prostate Cancer UK’s mission to stop the disease limiting lives. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with one in eight men affected by the disease. This year, GBRf unveiled a specially liveried locomotive featuring the charity’s iconic ‘Man of Men’ logo. Funds raised will go into lifesaving research to make prostate cancer a disease men and their families no longer fear.

Proud to contribute

The supporters, participants, volunteers, and the organising team at GBRf – Paul Taylor, Ian Grey and Dale Williams – were praised by John Smith, their cheif executive. “Yet again, our team have delivered another highly successful railtour that has raised an amazing amount for our chosen charity partner, Prostate Cancer UK. More now than ever, funds are needed to support vital research into better tests and treatments for people affected by prostate cancer and we’re proud to contribute to this great cause”, he said.

GBRf have honoured the rail tour organiser and cancer survivor Paul Taylor (GBRf)

“My thanks go to our charity railtour team and the GBRf volunteers who gave up their own time to make this fundraising feat possible and provide much needed assistance behind the scenes.”

Paul Taylor, who normally fills the role of Contract Manager at GB Railfreight, was particularly close to the cause. “I’m amazed at what we’ve achieved as a team to raise over 147,000 pounds for Prostate Cancer UK, a charity very close to my heart following my diagnosis with the disease a few years ago. The crucial funds raised by this railtour will help in the fight against prostate cancer, which is credit to the huge contribution made by our team of volunteers and support shown by the railway family.”

Vast range of support from the industry at large

“We’re delighted and hugely grateful to be on this lifesaving journey with GB Railfreight”, said Nicola Tallett, Director of Fundraising and Supporter Engagement at Prostate Cancer UK. “That amazing sum will help fund lifesaving research into the most common cancer in men as we go full steam ahead to do vital research into better tests and treatments. It’s also allowed us to continue to have hugely important conversations about prostate cancer – a disease affecting one in eight men in the UK, and one in four black men.”

The rail freight community has been praised for many sterling efforts in this year. While highlighting this effort, it is only right to echo the thanks of this particular charity and remember that the entire sector is responsible for a range of charity and community support initiatives, regardless of the challenges faced in carrying out their daily duties.

Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

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