Who We Have helped

Real Rail. Real People

Real Stories

You can watch our videos below to get an insight into the railway family we help and the difference we can make to those in times of need. Or keep scrolling to read stories from those we've help.






The Browne Family

Mr Browne has worked for Govia Thames Link Railway for 15 years. He is a father of two children, Harry, 16 and Millie, 14. Tragically, during the summer of 2018 Harry unexpectedly passed away following an epileptic seizure leaving his whole family, unimaginably distraught and distressed.

Harry was disabled and relied on the support of his mother, Mrs Browne to act as his full time carer. When he passed away not only did the family have to cope with their grief but also financial worries, as their household income dramatically reduced due to the loss of benefits relating to Harry’s care needs and his mother’s caring role.

This all put additional strain on the family. However, we were able to support by giving a one off grant to the family to prevent them putting more onto their credit card when they needed to replace their dangerous kitchen cooker.

In addition to this, we sent Millie some vouchers at Christmas time through our fund. We hoped this would, in a small way, bring some joy to what was a terrible year for the Browne’s.



Mr Manley

James, 89, had worked in the rail industry for most of his adult life and once retired looked forward to spending time with his wife of 63 years. However, as time went on she suffered a stroke and required specialist care in a nursing home. James did not cope well with the separation and set about trying to raise funds so he could care for her at home.

He resorted to gambling, buying scratch cards and lottery tickets in the hope to get his wife back home. James ended up running up debts and without seeking advice first, sold his home to repay them.

Mr. Manley’s situation was bought to our attention by the local YMCA following reports by local residents that he had been sleeping in his car nearby to where his wife was being cared for.

We worked with the YMCA who found him housing as close to his wife as possible to then kit out his new flat with carpets and the essentials such as, bedding and kitchen items to make his new home comfortable for him.

The charity has also granted James a regular grant to help cover living costs or to be used towards a break should he wish to take some time for himself.

James was very hesitant to accept all of our help and was overly grateful to the YMCA and us. This is an example of someone who was in clear need for our help, yet has the potential to go without through fear of turning to a charity. Simply, feeling his situation was not ‘bad enough’ to receive help and support. This is simply not the case – we are dedicated to supporting all railway people and their families in times of need.

We spoke with James recently and he still visits his wife each day and says that although he is feeling more settled in his new flat, he struggles to sleep at night because he misses her.




Isla’s father was working as a Train Driver for GWR when he came across the RBF. He was in the process of seeking financial assistance for one of his daughters, Isla. The family was already raising funds through a crowd-funding site but was still shy of the amount needed to get the treatment sooner rather than later.

Isla was only four years old and required spinal surgery. The treatment was not available on the NHS so the family had to find the money to receive treatment in America.

We were able to pay for the flights to America to get the treatment straight away. Meaning Isla was on the mend sooner than was originally hoped!

Skip forward a short time and Isla’s surgeries have both been successful - she can walk better now and is slowly progressing. Since her treatment Isla can now walk to school with the rest of her friends, which is something her family thought was not possible!

We receive regular updates from Isla’s father and we are so pleased to see photos of her happy and playing with her younger sister, Thea. Over Christmas, we sent the young family some vouchers and they kept them aside for the summer – where Isla and Thea chose to spend them on a paddling pool!