East Midlands Railway provides donations to crucial charities and support service in Derby and Leicester

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

  • Items donated to local charities and support services
  • Part of ongoing support and extra help for the communities EMR serves

East Midlands Railway (EMR) has donated food to charities and a support service in Derby and Leicester which help victims of sexual abuse, the homeless and vulnerable people.

Donations were given to Derwent Valley Vineyard and The Food 4 Thought Alliance, who provide support to the homeless and to people struggling to feed themselves and their families.

EMR has also donated items to Juniper Lodge in Leicester – a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). Juniper Lodge provides support to anyone aged 18 and over living in Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland, who has been raped or sexually assaulted either recently or at any time in the past.

Millie Gant, SARC Manager at Juniper Lodge, said the donation of food enabled them to offer a little more comfort to people while they use their services.

She said: “This donation was a lovely gesture and has enabled us to offer something to eat for victims and their supporters who attend our site following a sexual assault.

“Very often they are with us for hours, completing a forensic medical examination and speaking to the police about what has happened. By having something extra to offer really does make a difference.”

Derwent Valley Vineyard, a church group in Derby, also make a difference to the community it serves.

Helen Murphy, who volunteers at the group, said EMR’s donated food will help them to continue offering their simple but vital service.

She said: “We are so grateful for the generosity of East Midlands Railway. We are a charity with a strap line 'A home for Everyone and A hope for Everywhere'. We believe it is the simple things like eating together that allows people to talk, engage, feel welcome and included. We like to create a place where people get to know others and where we can create community.

“We love investing in people from all walks of life, seeing potential and drawing it out in so many creative ways. Often sitting round a table, coffee in one hand, food in the other.”

EMR has also supported the Food 4 Thought Alliance, which was birthed from the Derby Food Forum Network Steering Group during the Covid 19 response. It set up 10 food hubs that have been distributing 450 food parcels a week to different individuals or families.

Paul Brookhouse, Project Co-ordinator at Derby Food 4 Thought Alliance, said: “EMR has donated various items on a regular basis including frozen bacon medallions, sausages, peanuts, crisps and cake which has helped add additional items in to food packages or allowed some of our hubs to distribute cooked meals to families in need. It is this invaluable support that we couldn’t do without.”

Kirsty Derry, HR Director at East Midlands Railway, said: “At EMR we are always looking for opportunities to support good causes and charities that make a difference in the region we serve.

“The support that these charities and services provide cannot be underestimated and we are proud to be able to work with them.”