ScotRail’s Nicola Dawson fits more than most into her working day. As well as being the company’s Audit, Risk and Compliance Manager, she also dedicates her time to countless good causes, going above and beyond to help improve other people’s lives. Her hard work was celebrated at the RailStaff Awards, as she took the Award for Charity.
Upon joining ScotRail, running fanatic Nicola identified that staff often went out running themselves at lunchtime but there was no formal group. She established a workplace Jog Scotland Group called Nic’s Noon Runners. Covid 19 put a halt on group runs, but it didn’t stop Nicola who came up with a momentous challenge – to run or cycle the length of the Scotland route rail network, twice. With only eight people in the team, they smashed it in 11 weeks raising £1860.25 to be split between MND and NHS Charities Together.
Back in 2018, Nicola ran her first ever ultra-marathon, raising over £1700 for Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity. In June 2022, she set herself a bigger challenge and took part in the West Highland Way race – an ultra-marathon running the full 96-mile West Highland Way. She completed it in 27 hours and raised nearly £1500 for Scottish Mountain Rescue. In total she’s raised over £6000 whilst keeping people fit and healthy.
Nicola is also ScotRail Chair of Inspire – the employee network promoting gender equality. She started this role just prior to lockdown and was instrumental in driving events and keeping the network functions throughout the pandemic. For International Women’s Day 2020 she co-ordinated the running of Scotland’s first all-female staffed train and thereafter hosted an event, with over 70 attendees and speakers.
“I was so pleased to win,” said Nicola, “but also shocked – the quality of the all of the other nominees was so high!”
“Everything I do is running-oriented. I’ve completed a few ultra-marathons now and at work I organise a running group where everyone pays something in for charity. Once I have enough in the pot I’ll make the donation – always to a charity that has some relevance to the work we do.”
“Thank you to everyone who nominated me and well done to all the other nominees – you were all amazing. None of us do this charity work for the recognition, but it does feel nice to be appreciated.”
Nicola, who was also highly commended for the Health & Wllbeing Award, truly embodies the spirit of the RailStaff Awards!
Susan Temple, ScotRail
Charles Dickson, GTR