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Charity Events

Coyle Personnel Raise £746.25 for Railway Children's #BigStationSleepOut

Written by

Eric Smith

Date posted

20 March, 2024

On the 14th of March, HSQE Support Officer, Carolyn Davy, and Phil Gittens, Manager at Coyle Rail, took on the challenge of sleeping out on a cold, hard, railway station floor for the night, amidst the hustle and bustle of London's St. Pancras Station. The pair selflessly traded the comfort of their warm beds for a difficult night’s sleep, all in support of Railway Children's #BigStationSleepOut.

Coyle Personnel are extremely proud of the lengths that our staff go to make a difference to the lives of those who are less fortunate. As an organisation, we actively encourage all our employees to participate in charitable events across the country, whether it be for either one of our associated charities, Railway Children and Mind, or another.

By voluntarily partaking in this unorthodox experience, Carolyn and Phil not only raised over £605, plus £141.25 gift aid for the charity, but also gained an invaluable insight into the challenges faced by vulnerable children worldwide. Read on to learn more about their ‘Sleep Out’ experience:


The journey began with Carolyn and Phil energetically boarding the train bound for London St. Pancras, filled with anticipation for the night ahead. They’d been told to bring with them something to lie on, a sleeping bag, warm clothes, a hot drink, and of course, plenty of snacks!

Donned in layers of clothing to brave the chilly night, both Carolyn and Phil geared up for the #BigStationSleepOut. They were allocated a dedicated space for the night and were informed about the experiences that children across the world face when being homeless.

Sporting the Railway Children branded beanie, a form of solidarity with all of the other participants and the ideal way to keep your head warm, Carolyn and Phil proudly showcased their efforts to support vulnerable children living in transport hubs across the globe.

Before settling in for the night, Phil gave his makeshift mattress—a sleeping bag—a test run to ensure maximum comfort on top of the cold station floor. Toilets would be available throughout the night but there was no access to electrical charging ports, and the station would remain open to the public throughout the night. Both Carolyn and Phil enjoyed their ‘dinner’ before facing the night ahead, knowing that the experience would be far from their typical night’s sleep.

Amidst the event, Phil was acquainted with a friend from one of Coyle Rail’s biggest clients, Siemens, who also had members of their team participating in the charity event.

As the night wore on, participants settled into a not so comfortable slumber on the station floor. Whilst it didn’t accurately replicate the situations faced by homeless children across the globe, it did help to raise awareness of the issues and difficulties they face.

As the clock struck 3 am, Carolyn and Phil began to truly acknowledge the discomfort of every moment spent on the station floor and the benefit of raising awareness, and funds, for such a worthy cause.

With the morning light illuminating the station, both Carolyn and Phil, now awake, took a moment to reflect on the profound impact of the night's experience. They soon bid farewell to St Pancras to return to the comfort of their own homes but sadly many children aren’t as fortunate and must face this reality daily.

Every day, thousands of vulnerable children arrive at rail and bus terminals across India, Tanzania, and the UK, facing fear and isolation. Among them, some have been ensnared by groomers, traffickers, or drug gangs, while others find themselves lost and far from home. Driven by experiences of abuse, neglect, poverty, family strife, and lack of support, these children embark on journeys in search of safety. Shockingly, children as young as five seek refuge on the streets, highlighting the urgent need for Railway Children's intervention and support.


Coyle Personnel are extremely proud of Carolyn and Phil's participation in Railway Children's #BigStationSleepOut and their drive to create positive change. Through their shared experience, they not only raised vital funds for a magnificent charity but also gained an understanding of the hardships that millions of children, both in the UK and across the world, must face.

We’d like to thank Railway Children for their support in organising this event and we look forward to participating once again in next year’s Sleep Out!

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