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HomePeopleCOVID plaque unveiled by Network Rail Chair and Railway Mission Chaplain

COVID plaque unveiled by Network Rail Chair and Railway Mission Chaplain

A commemorative brass plaque has been unveiled at the National Railway Museum by Network Rail Chair Lord Peter Hendy of Richmond Hill and Angela Levitt-Harwood, Railway Mission’s York region chaplain.

Ahead of Reflection Day (March 3), Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill revisited the York Museum where he had previously unveiled a temporary version of the plaque at the Railway Mission-organised Rail Industry Covid Memorial Day service held on 23 March last year, three years after the first Covid-19 lockdown.

The plaque is dedicated to the memory of railway employees and family members who died during the pandemic and commemorates the service and dedication shown by staff and British Transport Police.

“It is absolutely right that we commemorate the loss, and suffering of railway people during the pandemic, and also dedication of the railway in delivering essential passenger and freight services to transport key workers, and goods, during the pandemic,” comments Peter, Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill.

“Railway Mission supported people during the pandemic and continues to do so,” adds Angela.

“My prayer is that this permanent memorial can be visited by those for whom the pandemic has left a lasting sense of loss.”

The 2023 Rail Industry Covid Memorial Day service was led by Railway Mission’s Executive Director Liam Johnston who, with British Transport Police Director of People and Culture Rachael Etebar, devised the idea of holding a commemorative service.

The live-streamed service was attended by hundreds of employees who helped to keep key workers and essential goods moving throughout the pandemic.

The service concluded with Lord Hendy unveiling the temporary plaque, which will now be housed at Locomotion in Shildon.

Further services, led by Railway Mission chaplains, were held at stations and the Railway Benefit Fund’s Crewe headquarters, with a minute’s silence observed at midday at stations, offices and depots across the rail network.

Railway Mission is a regionally based chaplaincy service aiming to be an impartial ‘friend’ to those who work on the railway. Regardless of faith, gender, sexual orientation or position in the industry, chaplains offer face-to-face year-round support, especially during an individual’s time of loneliness, stress, depression, bereavement or illness.

A Christian faith-based charity, Railway Mission offers pastoral care to the entire railway community and members of the public affected by rail operations.

For more information about Railway Mission and its work visit www.railwaymission.org.

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