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Charity work makes Tim Brawn smile

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Every year on his way home after Railway Children’s Three Peaks by Rail challenge, Tim Brawn, a control centre manager at First TransPennine Express in Manchester, says, ‘Never Again!’ Then between Fort William and Manchester, Tim, who has served 30 years on the railways and won this year’s David Maidment Award for Charity, changes his mind.

Tim has been helping organise the Three Peaks Challenge since its inception.

Says First TransPennine Express manager Luke Gardner, ‘Tim has donated vast amounts of his time for many years to the Railway Children charity, having a very large involvement in the Three Peaks by Rail annual tour.

‘He first participated in 2005 and has been involved ever since. This includes briefing teams, manning checkpoints, assisting on board the train and helping to identify the train paths for it to run. During this time the event has raised £2 million.’

Tim has himself scaled Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds and afterwards visited the Mzombi project, a residential home for former street kids in Arusha.

For the past three years, he has been heavily involved with the planning and organisation of three charity Railtours run in association with the Branch Line Society on behalf of First TransPennine Express.

The idea was his original brainchild. Back in the days of First North Western, he had organised six similar charter trains. Onboard the tours, fundraising continues with raffles, quizzes, cab rides and change collections.

‘Tim’s enthusiasm in raising funds for the Railway Children, from initial fundraising concepts to the organising of further charity money spinners on the day, is relentless,’ says Luke.

‘He has a particular skill at picking people up when the going gets tough, motivating people to see projects through to the end, clear in his mind how the money raised will benefit the thousands of homeless children around the world.

‘The total money raised from these three railtours at TPE alone is in excess of £70,000, a figure that would certainly not have been achieved without Tim’s commitment to the project.

His involvement with so many other projects makes this total significantly more on a personal level.’

A delighted Tim Brawn said, ‘I’d like to thank the people who nominated me, the people at the charity and all its supporters.’

The fundraising keeps him going. Earlier Tim said, ‘Being involved in charity work and to have contributed to making a difference to so many others lives makes it all worthwhile. This year saw me on my 12th Three Peaks adventure and as always on the Saturday night on the way home from Fort William I said never again, but I’m always back for more.

‘To have played a big part in raising over £170,000 through personal and work projects is starting to become mind blowing. It’s one of the few things that still makes me smile in this turbulent world.

‘Overall Three Peaks has now passed the two million mark, something the whole industry should be proud of.’

The award was presented by John Hardy from award sponsor Track Partnership – a strategic alliance between London Underground and Balfour Beatty Rail.

He said, ‘The whole success of the rail industry at the moment is around people and the way people work together – people and relationships.

‘It passes on benefits that we have in this boom time for railways to the wider community, and it also has a real benefit to teams who contribute. It pulls the teams together, improves morale and it gives something back to the wider community.’

Highly commended

  • East Coast Christmas Charity Charter Train, Virgin Trains
  • Lee Hallam, Linbrooke Services Ltd


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