AssessTech announce partnership with Railway Children

We are proud to have chosen Railway Children as our corporate charity for 2023.

Railway Children is an international children’s charity who work with some of the most vulnerable children in India, East Africa and in the UK who have run away or are forced to live on the streets in order to survive. In 2021, the charity supported 21,000 children, where in 2020, Railway Children helped to reach and protect 15,822 children.

We are excited to be working closely with Railway Children in 2023 to support the invaluable work that they do.

We interviewed Dave who explains why Railway Children are excited to be a partner of AssessTech at our User Forum in November.

Dave Ellis speaks at our User Forum 2022 about our partnership with the charity.

Who are Railway Children and how do you work with the railway industry?

The children we focus on, certainly in the early years of the charity were those in desperate need in and around the railway stations. The issue is certainly not only a rail one, often it’s far broader and more complicated. We have a responsibility to help and do what we can to improve the quality of life for vulnerable children and their families.

For the rail industry, we play a big part in training staff and individuals in people-facing roles and working in communities. 

We teach them what to look out for, what to do if they see children in need, how to make their environment, and that of their families, safer. We train some of the train operating staff from several UK TOCs, creating a safeguarding network of railway people who know how to respond to incidents.

What are the current challenges facing Railway Children?

One of the main challenges is always going to be the number of children we have on the streets and the sheer scale of the problem – it’s a continual ongoing challenge for us and the work we do.

British Transport Police in UK stations encounter somewhere in the region of 10,000 children every year who are seen as vulnerable and at risk.  

We all know that the pandemic created a huge amount of challenge and uncertainty in society in a way that we had never experienced before. In some of the most vulnerable slum areas of India the pandemic presented a huge amount of additional work, particularly with job losses causing more children ending up on the streets. This created an even greater demand for the work we do.

We are always looking to find new ways to engage with audiences and raise money. The partnerships we set up with companies within the rail industry such as our partnership with AssessTech are incredibly valuable. 

These partnerships can often create long terms value, especially as we aim to create a relationship based on mutual benefit for both organisations.

Sally Brinkley and Dave Ellis at the AssessTech User Forum 2022

Dave Ellis and Gabriel Stroud at the lunchtime Exhibition at our User Forum 2022

Why are AssessTech a good partner for Railway Children?

AssessTech are focused on creating a safer railway. This is also one of our core objectives. 

It was visible from the get-go that this partnership could benefit both organisations and raise awareness of the charity and the good work that people are doing to help vulnerable children not only in the UK but across the world.

I was delighted to be invited to exhibit at AssessTech’s annual User Forum this year where I had the chance to meet with several TOCs from across the UK and to meet AssessTech’s other partners and friends of the industry.

The main take away for me from the conference was ‘collaboration’. Collaboration was happening throughout the day in many aspects of the conference, and we hope this will form the basis of our partnership with AssessTech.

Where do you see the benefits of the partnership evolving?

Staff engagement is a key part of any charity partnership, and it has been great to see the level of enthusiasm and engagement from staff at AssessTech who want to get involved with planned events and create their own events to fundraise for Railway Children.

We host some brilliant events throughout the year and from talking with AssessTech’s employees, I got a real feel that your employees love trying something new.

As a charity, we want to develop our e-learning platform to provide the best possible service to our customers. I met with colleagues at Totara Learning during AssessTech’s User Forum who were interested in hearing how AssessTech hope to help us with the knowledge, technical insight, and support for us to run an effective Learning Management System (LMS).

We are considering how we evolve our LMS to benefit the people we train, and most importantly, to create the biggest impact for the children we reach. This could be a collaborative to create something that would be a hugely valuable thing for Railway Children.

We are excited to see how our partnership blossoms over the next few months and how our work with AssessTech will impact the work we do to reach the children who really need it.

Railway Children stand at our User Forum exhibition 2022

I knew that Railway Children address the really important issue of safeguarding young people on the railway, but I didn’t realise how much of their work was centred around education and training. So, aside from fundraising, I am looking forward to working in partnership with the team at Railway Children to support them in their efforts through our extremely experienced team and systems.

Sally Brinkley

COO, AssessTech