Our 2021 Heart of Gold Award Winners
We are delighted to announce the winners of our 2021 Heart of Gold Awards! We went out to the industry in September for nominations and stories of all the wonderful things that are happening in the rail industry. We were flooded with so many inspiring stories of rail heroes and heart-warming stories, receiving over 100 nominations this year and over 7,000 votes!
The RBF Heart of Gold Awards celebrate those in the rail industry who go the extra mile and make a real difference. The nominations and voting are by the everyday people who work in rail – giving them the opportunity to thank the colleagues they appreciate, value and who inspire them. Take a look at this year’s winners below.
Going the Extra Mile Award Winner
Congratulations to Jenny Birdsall from Avanti West Coast!
Jennifer has a small army of fans at Warrington Bank Quay Station. She always looks after the train spotters, bringing them coffee and biscuits, as well as the elderly travellers, who often bring her plants for the station planters. Jennifer takes pride in her station and her colleagues, looking after all of the flower displays and mentoring new starters.
She also takes an active role helping vulnerable customers and over the years has assisted multiple suicidal individuals. On one occasion, she sat on the tracks for hours with a suicidal lady, supporting her until help arrived.
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Congratulations to Siggy Cragwell from GTR!
At 82, Siggy is Thameslink’s oldest staff member and has worked on the railway since the day after he landed in England as part of the Windrush generation, 59 years ago. In 2002 he came to Elstree & Borehamwood Station and has been there ever since. Siggy is known by hundreds of commuters and has seen many grow from children into adults.
Siggy’s ‘fan club’ is legendary and he can often be found surrounded by passengers who just want to say ‘hello.’ Despite his age, Siggy is always pro-active, always wanting to help and ensuring the station is well looked after.
Hatch End Station Team
Team Award Winner
Congratulations to the Hatch End Station Team!
For the past 3 years the team at Hatch End Station, made of up of Arriva Rail London employees and community volunteers, have been working together to make their station a wonderful place to be. The team have turned Hatch End into a thriving community hub, running book exchanges, raising money for charity and creating beautiful, award winning flower displays in the station.
The team have also set up an allotment at the station, growing fresh fruit and veg that they give away to the public. Earlier this year they also ran a community day where locals had the chance to visit and enjoy tea and cake, meet the staff members and be shown around the flower displays. The Hatch End Station Team’s next project is a ‘Garden of Peace’ in memory of Phil Palmer who was a colleague at the station who passed away in 2019.
A special mention also to all of this year’s amazing nominees: Ronnie Hardman, Drew Burns, Railway Family Facebook Admin Team, Cut & Run, Sheree Whetren, Katarzyna Stec, Lee Woolcot-Ellis and Brett Morris.
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