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HomeSocial ResponsibilityRail Minister pays tribute to Railway Mission’s £1.8million social value

Rail Minister pays tribute to Railway Mission’s £1.8million social value

Rail Minister Huw Merriman has joined fellow MPs and peers to hear how research by the Railway Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) is underscoring the social value of the Railway Mission’s work. This work generates over £3 of value for every £1 of income the charity receives.

The West Dorset MP and former rail manager, Chris Loder MP, hosted the briefing of MPs and peers from all sides of the houses on 13 May, which included the Rail Minister Huw Merriman, Transport Committee Chair Iain Stewart and Network Rail Chair Peter, Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill. The event heard from RSSB’s sustainability experts and the Railway Mission’s team.

The Railway Mission is a faith-based Christian charity offering independent, confidential, impartial pastoral care to the railway community and members of the public affected by railway operations. The mission’s chaplains offer face-to-face year-round support to anyone, especially during an individual’s time of loneliness, stress, depression, trauma, bereavement or illness.

The work contributes to self-esteem, health and wellbeing, and productivity as well as a wider training and knowledge base. While this vital work is highly cherished by people and organisations across the rail sector, historically it has not been possible to put a value on it in monetary terms.

Using the Rail Social Value Tool, sustainability experts at RSSB have been able to calculate the social value that the Railway Mission generates. This is £3.13 of value for every £1 of income it receives. The total contribution to society in the last 12 months was £1,848,851.

The Rail Social Value Tool has been co-developed by RSSB and social value experts Loop, in close association with Network Rail. The tool provides a way of calculating an organisation’s social value in monetary terms, based on data about its economic and social deeds. Many train operating companies and other businesses already subscribe to the tool to provide them with a stronger evidence-base of their own social value, aligned with HM Treasury Green Book Principles.

The tool has just been updated, increasing the number of metrics from 500 to 1,000, and offering a more user-friendly interface. The work with the Railway Mission provided an ideal opportunity for RSSB to trial the update, and use the tool with a charity for the first time.

Rail Minister Huw Merriman MP said: “The Railway Mission plays an important role in providing support to railway staff across the country through the most difficult of times and I’m a huge supporter of their work. I was pleased to join the team again to hear inspirational stories and welcome the RSSB’s report which highlights the valuable contribution this brilliant charity delivers.”

Chris Loder MP said: “I was delighted to host this event where the RSSB revealed the impressive social value contribution made by the Railway Mission to Britain’s railway. During my many years in the rail industry, prior to becoming the MP for West Dorset, I saw first-hand the real difference the Railway Mission makes to the wellbeing of both employees and their families across the network.”

Liam Johnston, Executive Director at the Railway Mission said: “As the executive director of the Railway Mission, I am profoundly grateful for the recognition of our work’s significant impact. This evaluation reaffirms our commitment to serve the railway community with compassion and dedication, delivering tangible benefits that extend beyond the rails. We are inspired to continue our journey, enriching lives and nurturing resilience across the sector.”

Johnny Schute, Chief Operating Officer at RSSB, said: “The Railway Mission team makes critical interventions across our network every day, protecting the wellbeing of the whole railway family in difficult moments. In many ways their social value is self-evident, but we’ve been able to calculate tangible figures to get a true sense of exactly what this value is. It’s been a great opportunity to road-test the latest version of the Rail Social Value Tool, which can be used to monitor and measure the social value of projects and day-to-day operations, and guide investment decisions.”

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