The leader of Crewe Salvation Army Corps (church) Major Steven Watson had an important rendezvous on the platform at Crewe Station recently where he was given a gift of old uniforms donated by West Midlands Railway staff.
It was all to do with a project by London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway which has seen staff working at stations, on trains and at depots across the local rail network handing over redundant items of clothing to The Salvation Army. Over 2000 staff working for the train operators have recently been issued with new uniforms, following the creation of the London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway brands in December 2017.
Uniforms include everything from shirts, trousers, dresses, coats, suit jackets and jumpers, to other accessories such as ties and scarves. The new uniforms have been designed by employees over the past 12 months, to reflect the new train operator brands and different roles across the railway.
Donated suit jackets and trousers will be de-branded and made available by The Salvation Army to those who need them most. For example, being provided as smart interview and work wear for people looking to get back into employment. Other items will be shredded and made into carpets, insulation, cushions or even the stuffing for car seats.
The Salvation Army are involved in a range of projects across the region to support the vulnerable people, including those experiencing homelessness and unemployment. The charity runs various outreach projects, as well as raising money through their chain of 235 charity shops across the country.
Andy Camp, commercial director for London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway, said: “Issuing new uniforms across a company of our size is never a small task, which is why we have been working our staff for over a year on getting the new uniform designed and manufactured. However, this inevitably means a lot of old uniform items have become redundant. Many of our staff have worked on the railway for many years, and have collected dozens of items of clothing during that time. We wanted to make sure these items were recycled as far as possible.
“By donating old uniforms to The Salvation Army, we want to give something back to the communities we serve. Our staff have been incredibly supportive of this initiative, as it is something they can really see making a difference.”
Kirk Bradley, head of corporate partnerships from The Salvation Army, said: “This partnership enables The Salvation Army to help West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway staff to dispose responsibly of their excess uniforms, diverting them from landfill which is very important. At the same time, we are raising funds to help the vital work of The Salvation Army continue, supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged people. We’re grateful for this opportunity.”