After a challenging 2020, the rail industry is appealing for people to send their messages of hope and goodwill to attach to special Christmas trees at Manchester Piccadilly station. Each message will be turned into a gift tag and used to decorate two 15-foot-tall trees on the station concourse.
It is hoped that the trees will inspire people and spread some collective cheer online and across the railway network.
Suggestions for the types of messages include a thank you, what people are grateful for, 2021 hopes or a charity pledge.
The Christmas trees of hope comes after other rail industry efforts to help those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic this year, including:
- Money donated to a Manchester foodbank by Piccadilly staff;
- Messages of support for the NHS staff on Northern trains;
- TransPennine Express passengers introducing the new option to give delay repayments to charity;
- Avanti West Coast teams will be helping young people and those in need within its local communities with fundraising efforts and donations.
Scott Green, station manager at Manchester Piccadilly station, said: “We really hope the public get behind our Christmas Tree of hope campaign and send in their messages to lift everyone’s spirits.
“Network Rail has got together with all of the train operators across the North to share these gift tags of kindness far and wide. But we really need your help to spread as much positivity as possible this Christmas as we all look forward to a better and brighter 2021.”
Zina Nomicas, general manager at Avanti West Coast, said: “After everything that has happened this year, we wanted to help spread some Christmas cheer in the communities we serve by inviting people to share a goodwill message. Whether it’s a show of appreciation for key workers, a simple hello to a loved one or something you’re thankful for we want to connect people and help brighten journeys to and from Manchester Piccadilly this December.”
Billy Vickers, group stations manager for TransPennine Express, said: “We know it’s been a tough year for so many and with Christmas just around the corner, we wanted to do something to help lift people’s spirits.
“I would encourage rail customers to get in touch with their messages of positivity and goodwill which will be given pride of place on our Christmas trees of hope.”
Chris Jackson, regional director for Northern: “After such a difficult year, it is lovely to add some positivity over the Christmas period. We hope customers and colleagues across the north will put forward their messages that will bring a smile to those who see them. Alongside this, many of our colleagues across the Northern network will be supporting local charities and organisations in many different ways as they do every year.”