The RailStaff Awards returned in 2022 after a two-month hiatus caused by Covid-19. On its return, a new category was introduced to honour those workers who gave their all to improve the lot of their colleagues and communities during the crisis. The Covid Hero – Outstanding Team Award was taken home by a group of individuals who were determined to keep the magic of Christmas alive despite the restrictions and disruption wrought by the pandemic.
Each year the SNGX Santa Train team delivers a memorable experience for the children of colleagues. The usual live event format wasn’t possible in December 2020 due to Covid, but the team was determined to make sure that the children still got to see Santa Claus and have a magical experience. They set about creating an interactive virtual experience that would bring a smile to the children of the network.
They created a video in which children watching could play a part to help Santa get home. They also sent activity packs to the children’s homes, to make the interactive sessions more immersive. After completing the activities, the children also received a present from Santa.
The team spent many long hours to make this a reality and bought joy to the homes of hundreds of children at a particularly tough time.
“The amount of work put in by the whole team was unbelievable,” said team member David Mitchell from GTR, “and it meant so much to so many people. The feedback afterwards was tremendous.”
The Covid Hero awards were sponsored by Young Rail Professionals (YRP), the networking organisation founded to promote the rail industry as a great place to work, inspire the next generation of railway talent, and develop young people to reach their potential.
“The COVID awards are important in recognising those individuals or teams who have shown true resilience, dedication, and initiative during the pandemic,” said Fiona Westcough, YRP’s Chair. “I was inspired by the range of activities, and often selfless approach, that all the nominees displayed. The event itself was fantastic and provided a great chance for rail staff across the industry to come together and celebrate the vital contribution of our unsung heroes. Many congratulations SNGX Santa Team for winning the COVID Hero Team award!”
Metro South Operations, Southern
Rail Enforcement, Great Northern & Thameslink, GTR (Great Northern)