Help is at hand to take us to £5million

Since our first ball in 2000 The Railway Ball has gone from strength to strength. Raising more than £4.5m for Railway Children, to help them fight for children living on the streets and railway platforms around the world. This year we want to smash the £5million mark and have some fantastic news to help us get there.


The UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) has awarded Railway Children a UK Aid Match appeal. This means every pound raised from public donations between 23rd October 2015 and 22nd January 2016 will be doubled. That means everything we raise through personal bids in our Taylor Woodrow Smart Auction and private donations on the evening will help us reach twice as many children and give them a future.



The ‘If I Grow Up’ appeal will provide support for children on the streets across Kenya and Tanzania, where they are abused, sold, trafficked and prostituted. They don’t know where they’ll sleep tonight or what they’ll eat. They hardly dare wonder what will become of them when they grow up – or rather if they grow up…


For eleven-year-old Elnest, the streets of East Africa were home. With his father dead and his mother in hospital, he had nowhere else to go. Elnest endured things no child should experience. Abused, used and beaten, he was at terrible risk – until Joram, a Railway Children rescue worker, found him. At first, Elnest pretended he was fine. But soon his story came tumbling out. He was hurt and alone, and desperate to return home.

Railway Children traced Elnest’s mum, Elizabeth, who wept with joy to have her son back safe and sound. The charity gave Elizabeth a grant to set up a business, which enabled her to give her children the care they needed. And Joram helped Elnest go back to school, which then led him to get an apprenticeship, and a far brighter future.



Railway Children is already making a long-term difference in East Africa but the need is great and by expanding the programme they can reach even more children. The charity is aiming to raise at least £300,000 from the If I Grow Up appeal and the UK Government will double this figure to £600,000.

All the money we raise at this year’s Ball will be used for Railway Children Projects worldwide and the match funding will be used for projects in East Africa.


£16 – doubled to £32 can…
Pay for a rescue worker in East Africa to search the streets for two days, looking for the children most in need of rescue before an abuser gets there first

£24 – doubled to £58 can…
Feed a child in a Kenyan shelter three meals a day, for twelve weeks

£58 – doubled to £116 can…
Pay to accompany and transport a child back home, reuniting them with their family – and a follow-up visit for the whole family to work through the issues that led the child to run away.


The If I Grow Up appeal runs until 22nd January 2016 so every penny you and your colleagues raise during that time will be doubled. For more fundraising information and ideas, please have a look at the appeal website:

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