One of RailBusinessDaily’s Eagle Labs partners is looking back at what it considers its highlight of last week’s Railtex/Infrarail event – working with a crucial fundraising initiative to help children in desperate circumstances.
The three-day showcase was abuzz with business deals and exciting emerging technology, but Jeroen Boomsma, Client Director at Sopra Steria for Competency Training Marketplace (CTM), says his favourite moment was an event they sponsored to support Rail Aid. Rail Aid is a UK Rail fundraising initiative on behalf of the industry charity Railway Children. The charity helps street children in India, East Africa and the UK.
Dubbed ‘the railway’s answer to Children in Need’, Rail Aid invites all of UK Rail to unite and fundraise in support of the vital life-saving work of Railway Children. Already backed by SME’s and large organisations including HS2, Network Rail, TfL, Rail Delivery Group, RSSB, ORR, RIA, Women in Rail, Young Rail Professionals, British Transport Police and a host of businesses; their aim is to make Rail Aid 2021 bigger and better than 2020 – with a target of £1m.
During Railtex/Infrarail, CTM had sponsored a drinks reception to help showcase the work Rail Aid does, hosted by RailBusinessDaily. It was attended by scores of rail professionals who had heard about Rail Aid and were keen to understand more.
Attendees listened to Rail Aid’s Chair, James Bain, and the different initiatives they have been carrying out to bring in much-needed funds for Railway Children whilst at the same time negotiating their way through pandemic restrictions and uncertainties.
For 2021, fundraisers include a Love Train dance off – where industry workers film their best moves to the backing of the O’Jays classic, and see who gets voted the best – a Rail Aid Golf day at the Belfry Hotel and Resort, and a range of sponsorships.
Jeroen said: “Naturally you attend exhibitions and the first thing on your mind is demonstrating the hard work of your own colleagues.” In the case of CTM, a new platform developed by Sopra Steria, they were telling visitors about their one-of-a-kind platform which allows businesses to shop for ideal training opportunities whilst tracking staff accreditation in real time.
“But when you hear the amazing work fundraisers such as Rail Aid are doing it makes you stop,” Jeroen added. “You remember that everyone in the rail industry has one thing in common – we care about the next generations.
“Listening to James, it was a powerful moment. We are proud to be supporting Rail Aid’s work for Railway Children. Understanding the harrowing issues they are trying to tackle made us all the more determined to do what we could to stand by their cause as much as possible both now and in the future.
“We thought the day-to-day networking and the excitement of Railtex/Infrarail had brought people together after the pandemic, but at this event there was something even greater: everyone felt truly united.
“Being part of the railway industry family and working for the good of its people is what CTM is all about.”
About Competency Training MarketplaceTM (CTM)
Competency Training Marketplace (CTM) is an innovative platform which allows businesses to shop for ideal training opportunities whilst simultaneously tracking staff accreditation in real time. It also tracks expiry, giving service users ample warning when the accreditation is due to end.
CTM was created by Sopra Steria, a business at the forefront of consulting, digital services and software development with 46,000 employees in 25 countries. Sopra Steria, have used an in depth knowledge of rail and digital skills to provide the industry with a smarter way to work. Sopra Steria places people at the heart of everything it does and is committed to making the most of digital technology to build a positive future for its clients.