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Rail users on Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) can now donate their Delay Repay compensation payment to charity thanks to a new partnership with Samaritans and Railway Children.

Passengers claiming compensation online through GTR’s Delay Repay scheme – under which GTR customers across Thameslink, Gatwick Express, Southern and Great Northern are entitled to compensation if their journey is delayed by 15 minutes or longer – can elect to give their refund to Samaritans or Railway Children, instead of accepting the payment themselves.

The new donation scheme, devised at the suggestion of GTR customers, builds on existing relationships with the charities and aligns with the operator’s corporate social responsibility pledge to help improve the lives of vulnerable people in society.

“Thanks to GTR and the generosity of its passengers we can raise awareness of our services and raise vital funds,” said Ruth Sutherland, Samaritans Chief Executive Officer. “When someone is feeling overwhelmed, it’s vital that they are listened to and supported to work through difficult thoughts and feelings. With our confidential 24-hour service, available 365 days a year, we offer a safe place for people to talk any time they like, in their own way – about whatever’s getting to them.”

Railway Children fights for children at risk of abuse and exploitation on the streets of Africa, India and here in the UK. Their work in this country focuses on those finding themselves in danger in and around the transport network, making sure they are kept safe.

Railway Children’s Corporate Partnerships Manager Dave Ellis said: “The Delay Repay scheme and the money donated by GTR customers will have a very real impact upon the lives of vulnerable children here in the UK as well as in India and East Africa. It will also create an even greater awareness of the essential work of Railway Children.”

GTR’s Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Katherine Cox said: “We received feedback from our customers that they would like to have the option to donate their delay repay compensation to charity if they experience a delay. We’re really pleased to partner with Samaritans and Railway Children, who will welcome donations from our customers. Both organisations have a long-standing relationship with the rail industry and make a real difference to the lives of the people they work with.”

Every three months, GTR and the partner charities will publish the total amounts donated by GTR customers.