Eastbourne charity, Embrace East Sussex, has been presented with a donation of £6,668 by Southern Train Services Manager, Ant Yandell at Eastbourne railway station.
Most of the donation was raised from ticket sales for the Class 442 train farewell tour. Southern has now replaced the last Class 442 trains (pictured) which ran originally on the Gatwick Express route, and until recently, between Eastbourne and London. Over 400 people bought tickets for the tour, which took in some unusual places on the Southern Network such as sidings and depots.
Ticket sales, an on-board raffle and an on-board auction contributed to the £6,668 total which was presented to Annette Ackland from the charity, by Ant at Eastbourne station yesterday (6 April).
Annette Ackland, Embrace Trustee, said, "Thank you so much. This will make such a difference to us. This can help us run our Saturday club for the next year. We've recently seen our numbers of children on the rise and need more staff. This will help so much. We can't thank you enough!"
Su Rogers, Station Sales Clerk at Mouslecoomb station, who nominated Embrace to become one of Southern's corporate charities added, "For such a small charity, run by volunteers, this means so much. It is wonderful - we really couldn't believe the amount raised. Thank you to everyone so much."
Ant Yandell, Southern Train Services Manager who was the driving force behind the trip said, "It was a really intense four weeks to organise this and the whole thing seemed to take over my life, but I'm really pleased with how the day went and that we have so much money to pass onto the charity. Everyone was happy to donate to support Embrace."
Kevin Adlam from the Branch Line Society, which sold the tickets on behalf of Southern added, "We had a really good time out on the trip with over 400 people riding with us. The money came from the trip itself plus auctions and raffles we held on board - everyone was so generous. It was nice to see everyone having a good time while doing something really positive."