Funded by Network Rail and supported by the English Football League Trust, the Leeds United Foundation’s Network Rail Community Programme teaches children and young people the value of rail safety awareness. Foundation coaches offer daytime and evening sessions at schools and community venues across the city with youngsters learning about the potential dangers of misusing the railway.
Leeds United star, Stuart Dallas and Foundation Ambassador, Josh Warrington have both played an active role in helping children become more 'rail aware.
“Playing in a major city where in the past there have been issues with misuse of the train tracks, this programme means a lot to me personally. There have been massive strides made in ensuring our young people are educated on rail awareness and the club in conjunction with Network Rail, the British Transport Police and Leeds United Foundation have been really focused on that. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with the children this week and being a part of their learning."
The number of people travelling on trains in the UK has doubled since 1995 to over 1.5 billion people a year and with Leeds Railway Station now the third busiest station outside of London with over 27 million people using it each year, I can’t think of a better place for these kids to learn all about rail travel and track safety.”
Network Rail’s LNE and EM Route Managing Director Phil Verster said, “Raising awareness of the potential dangers of the railway amongst young people is a really important issue for Network Rail. By partnering with organisations which young people know and respect, like Leeds United and The EFL Trust, we can get our message across more effectively. Events such as this one are great because they engage with the young people we are trying to reach so the audience is more likely to take the safety message on board.”
Mike Evans, Director of Operations at The English Football League Trust, added
“Football clubs are at the heart of their communities in an emotional as well as physical sense. As such they have an incredible ability to reach people, where others may struggle. Our partnership with Network Rail shows how football can use this ability to talk to young people about a serious issue and make a positive difference to people’s lives.”