Scottish only female train driver’s fundraiser tops thirty thousand euros
Her heart is not just devoted to Scotland’s railway industry. Heather Waugh is a driver and mentor with Freightliner. She has gained profile as the sole female freight train driver in Scotland. However, Heather is much more prominent as an ambassador for the entire rail sector, irrespective of gender. In her busy schedule each year, she orchestrates the “Railway Family Prize Draw”. It’s a charity fundraising event that unites rail enthusiasts, passengers, and industry professionals, all in the spirit of giving. Already this year has been exceptionally generous.
This time round, the Railway Family Prize Draw is devoted to supporting Global Vision International (GVI), and their community development program in Cambodia. GVI is an organisation known for its extensive work in sustainable development projects worldwide. They are active in supporting education development, women’s empowerment, public health, community development, and sustainable solutions. The organisation has been connecting change-makers with impactful environmental projects in vulnerable habitats across the globe for over two decades. Now, the railway community has been asked to help, and the they have risen to the challenge in generous terms.
Bringing people together
“I’m really proud of the fundraiser”, said Heather Waugh, the driving force behind this initiative. She expressed her pride in the fundraiser’s ability to bring people from all walks of life together. Heather says it’s an echo of the beneficiary organisation, Global Vision International. “Not only does it raise a lot of money, but it also brings people together in a way unlike any other railway event. From train driver to MD; from enthusiast to passenger. It seems to reach everyone,” she said.
This year, the prize draw part of the fundraiser sold out in record time, under three weeks, amassing an impressive 20,000 pounds (23,200 euros). Heather Waugh revealed that her efforts, including what she modestly called a couple of other initiatives, have raised the total amount to approximately 30,000 pounds (34,800 euros). There are however a couple of very special opportunities still to come.
Dream of winning something special
One of the highlights of this year’s fundraiser is a unique piece of modern railway memorabilia. It has been donated by Varamis Rail, the UK’s pioneering high-speed rail logistics company. They have generously contributed their “Varamis Express” train nameplate, adding a touch of history to the event. Varamis Rail is already well known for its zero-emission line-haul logistics services, making the transition from road to rail more appealing. They have every chance to become a big player in the industry, and this could be the opportunity for someone to acquire an appreciating asset.
“Basically, I get some pretty special experiences donated by all the major rail companies”, said Heather Waugh, as she further explained the mechanics of the fundraiser. “These are things that really appeal. Things like cab rides, simulator sessions, behind the scenes visits. I put them in a prize draw. The idea being that everyone gets the chance to dream of winning something special. It creates such a fantastic atmosphere, with everyone sharing and supporting. This year we’ve held back a couple of really special items, and put them up for auction.”
A unique nameplate would be cherished, but that other auction item is also worth breaking the bank to acquire. Shortly up for grabs will be a behind-the-scenes trip for four to Alstom’s works in Derby, including a unique experience on the test track. Not only does Heather Waugh’s Railway Family Prize Draw unite railway enthusiasts but it also contributes to significant causes like global sustainable development. It embodies the spirit of giving and brings the railway community together in a unique and heartwarming way.