This October our Director of Client Services & Rail Signalling, Sam Jennings will be taking part in Railway Children’s Ride Vietnam Challenge. As a novice cyclist, Sam will be confronting a challenging 450km cycle across 7 days in 30 degrees, on a (barely used) bike!

Please support Sam to raise money for this excellent cause and donate via his JustGiving page.

“Having never previously ridden a bike without balancing a child on the back, it seemed like a great opportunity to take on a huge personal challenge and raise money that will go to support some of the most vulnerable children in the world”

shares Sam Jennings.

So far Sam has completed over 500 miles training in the saddle, with 340 miles travelled through a very hot July! Lots of water, sun cream and only the one puncture so far to date to report as Sam hits the halfway mark on his donations target and only 2 months to go! In the next few weeks, Sam faces a step up in training with 100 miles a week to complete.

The trip itself will see Sam spend between six and eight hours in the saddle each day, travelling across waterways and plantations on unpaved and dusty roads, slightly different surfaces to the hills he will be training on but all part of the challenge for a true bike novice!

Sam Challenge Charity
Sam Jennings continues training for the Ride Cambodia Challenge this October

Sam has previously completed the London Marathon raising over £2,500 for Action for Children but is a complete newbie to the world of cycling and hoping to make the challenge worth whilst by beating his previous total.

Giving Back

Since Advance TRS was established in 2011, advancing less fortunate people has always been a central motivator for founder Andy Ridout and the Advance TRS team. To date, our staff have raised over £65,000 for charities completing an incredible array of personal challenges to raise money and awareness for those less fortunate. Find out more.

Railway Children

Advance TRS has been a long term supporter and partner of Railway Children and the Rail Aid campaign. Railway Children is an international children’s charity that funds rescue workers and street teams that seek out vulnerable children living on the streets before potential abusers get to them first. Our staff have completed a number of challenges to raise money and awareness for the charity including Three Peaks By Rail, Three Ironman’s, a trek up Kilimanjaro and to Everest Base Camp. Find out more about how Railway Children support children in need.

Last week, seven of our avid golfers took on the Longest Day Golf Challenge to raise vital funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. They raised a total of £1,175!

The team made up of our Rail consultants included Jake Rodger, Andy Ridout, Craig Outhwaite, Josh Hill, Sam Blair, Mick Schruyers and Chris Spurdle.

They completed 4 rounds of golf, 72 holes, in 31-degree heat, taking a total of 16 hours and walking over21 miles!

Rail Business Development Manager Chris shared:

“It was a really good day. As someone who has recently joined the business, taking on the Longest Day Golf Challenge was a great way for me to get to know some of my team.”

The team teed off at 5:30am, long before some of us were even out of bed and finished the last round at approximately 8:30pm! Each round of golf took roughly 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete, but the team admit they lost track after the first couple of rounds.

Speaking to them about the distance they said:

“The last we checked it was about 46,000 steps, however, the watch we were using ran out of charge, so we don’t know the exact count. This happened on the second hole of the last round so you can guess the next 16 holes…”

We would like to again extend our thanks to Blacknest Golf and Country Club who supported us on the day and allowed us to use their course.

“We started very strong and played some good golf, but with the heat and exhaustion, it did go a bit downhill each round we played. Despite struggling to walk the next day, it was very good fun and something I would do again.”
Explained our consultant, Sam.

Fundraising can make a huge difference, so we are pleased to have contributed to an important cause. Taking on this challenge will help Macmillan make a real difference to people living with cancer. They will be able to give people going through a cancer experience practical, emotional and personal support.

Business Development Director Mick shared some final thoughts from the day:

“The day was great, it was a real team effort. It was certainly a hard day but hearing a number of people at the club cheering us on during the day helped get us through. We even had a lady who thought we were crazy and was leaving the course after 9 holes as it was too hot. We told her what we were doing, and she waited for us to return and donated £20 towards the day. It was a real good, spirited team event and still managed to recognise good shots even on the last 18 holes.

The funniest part of the day was watching Jake try and save Andy’s ball going in the pond, however, while doing so he fell down the bank…luckily, he only got his feet wet but was so close to going all the way in…”

Advance TRS have a strong history of taking on personal challenges to raise money for causes important to the team. This is the latest challenge in a line of activities that has seen the team raise over £65,000 for charities in 10 years.

On Tuesday 12th July, Advance TRS are taking on the Longest Day Golf Challenge to raise important funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. We have assembled 8 of our best golf players to take part in what will be a hard but fun day. Our team will be walking 24 miles (the equivalent of a marathon!).

A team of our Rail consultants are taking on the challenge including; Jake Rodger, Andy Ridout, Joe Moss, Craig Outhwaite, Josh Hill, Sam Blair, Mick Schruyers and Chris Spurdle.

72 holes. Four rounds. One fantastic cause.

Thank you to Blacknest Golf and Country Club for supporting us on the day and letting us use their course.

Fundraising can make a huge difference so we would appreciate any donations. Taking on this challenge will help Macmillan make a real difference to people living with cancer. Please support our team by donating here.

Fundraising can make a huge difference so please donate what you can. Taking on this challenge will help Macmillan make a real difference to people living with cancer. They’ll be able to give people going through a cancer experience practical, emotional and personal support

Advance TRS have a strong history of taking on personal challenges to raise money for causes important to the team. This is the latest challenge in a line of activities that has seen the team raise over £65,000 for charities in 10 years.

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, Advance TRS are exploring male mental health and raising awareness of the importance of talking about your mental wellbeing.

In England, around one in eight men has a common mental health problem such as depression, anxiety, panic disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It’s hard to ignore the statistics, with suicide being a leading cause of death for men up to the age of forty. Three times as many men as women die by suicide.

So why do men struggle to open up about their mental health? Society’s expectations and gender roles may play a part in the difficulty to discuss or seek help for their troubles. Men were often encouraged to appear “manly” or not show their emotions, in control and a provider for the home. This stigma can cause men to suppress their emotions for fear of how they will be received.

It is also thought that men may be less able to recognise symptoms of mental health problems in themselves and unable to process the way they are feeling. Many might find themselves engaging in risky activities, picking fights and substance misuse to cope.

It is clear that more needs to be done to improve the reality that men are facing. So what can we do to support and encourage change? Several campaigns have recently emerged, encouraging men to talk about their mental health. To help break the stigma, be sure to check in on your colleagues, employees, friends, and family. Regularly ask how they are to show they have your support. As a result, this will open up the conversation for you to both discuss worries if necessary.

What is the industry doing to support mental health?

More than 25,000 railway staff have now been trained to identify and help vulnerable people, inside and outside of the rail network, thanks to a Samaritans’ partnership with Network Rail and the wider rail industry.

The charity also runs a Small Talk Saves Lives campaign in partnership with Network Rail and British Transport Police. The campaign aims to encourage the public to use the skills they already have by simply starting a conversation if they see someone who needs help. A little small talk and simple question can be all it takes to interrupt someone’s suicidal thoughts and help start them on the journey to recovery.

More and more construction businesses are also starting to see their staff’s mental health as a priority. Mates in Mind is a leading UK charity raising awareness and addressing poor mental health across industries, focusing on construction, as well as related sectors. They work in partnership with industry-leading organisations with the aim to break the silence surrounding mental ill-health.

Helpful resources

Charity Movember has a variety of great tools on how to have a conversation with someone you believe is struggling.

If you need someone to talk to then Samaritans are available on 116 123 (UK) for free, 24/7. They are there to talk to, listen and they won’t judge or tell you what to do.

C.A.L.M is a National helpline for men to talk about any troubles they are feeling. Call 0800 58 58 58 (UK). They are available from 5pm-midnight 365 days a year.

When you’re experiencing a mental health problem, supportive and reliable information can change your life. Mind mental health charity believes no one should have to face this alone. Infoline: 0300 123 3393.

For support when you’re struggling to cope, Text Shout to 85258. If you’re experiencing a personal crisis, are unable to cope and need support.

The Construction Industry Helpline provides a 24/7 safety net for all construction workers and their families in the UK and Ireland. Call their helpline on 0345 605 1956 (UK) or text HARDHAT to 85258 (UK). They also offer a free Helpline App, offering advice on a variety of conditions or issues, self- assessment tools, coping strategies and referral pathways to access expert advice and support.

Advance TRS

Advance TRS is a niche recruitment consultancy specialising in the provision of highly-skilled technical professionals for the built environment. 

We have appointed qualified Mental Health First Aiders to provide a first point of contact for our staff if needed. We also offer our a Wellbeing Hub, where confidential support via an EAP helpline can be accessed at any time.

From the very beginning our Group Managing Director Andy has nurtured a close family feel office culture, where colleagues work together, socialise and look out for each other.

We are always looking for new talented and ambitious people to join our team, across our offices and in sales, management or business services.

This October our Director of Client Services & Rail Signalling, Sam Jennings will be taking part in Railway Children’s Ride Vietnam Challenge. 

Please support Sam to raise money for this excellent cause and donate via his JustGiving page

As a novice cyclist, Sam will be confronting a challenging 450km cycle across 7 days in 30 degrees, on a (barely used) bike! 

“Having never previously ridden a bike without balancing a child on the back, it seemed like a great opportunity to take on a huge personal challenge and raise money that will go to support some of the most vulnerable children in the world” shares Sam. 

The trip itself will see Sam spend between six and eight hours in the saddle each day, travelling across waterways and plantations on unpaved and dusty roads, slightly different surfaces to the hills he will be training on but all part of the challenge for a true bike novice!

Throughout the summer Sam will be up early and home late, trying to fit the training in and around family and working life, with 1,250 miles of training to be done before he even flies out. 

Sam will be keeping us up to date with regular updates from his training and welcomes offers for anyone to join him on a training ride! Get in touch if you would like to join Sam on a ride.

Sam has previously completed the London Marathon raising over £2,500 for Action for Children but is a complete newbie to the world of cycling and hoping to make the challenge worth whilst by beating his previous total. Donate via his JustGiving page

Giving Back 

Since Advance TRS was established in 2011, advancing less fortunate people has always been a central motivator for founder Andy Ridout and the Advance TRS team. To date, our staff have raised over £65,000 for charities completing an incredible array of personal challenges to raise money and awareness for those less fortunate. Find out more. 

Railway Children 

Advance TRS has been a long term supporter and partner of Railway Children and the Rail Aid campaign. Railway Children is an international children’s charity that funds rescue workers and street teams that seek out vulnerable children living on the streets before potential abusers get to them first. Our staff have completed a number of challenges to raise money and awareness for the charity including Three Peaks By Rail, Three Ironman’s, a trek up Kilimanjaro and to Everest Base Camp.  

Looking for a new challenge? 

We are always looking for talented new staff to join the Advance TRS team. Advance TRS offers a supportive environment to help you to be the best you can be and reach your career goals as part of our team, whether you are an established recruiter or just starting out on your journey. With access to the biggest clients in each market sector, a strongly networked and experienced Senior Leadership Team and great compensation, at Advance TRS we can help people grow and succeed as the company does the same. Find out about our current opportunities or contact Jess Wells, our Talent Acquisition Manager for a more detailed and confidential conversation. 

Follow Sam’s journey on our Instagram

Once again, the team at Advance TRS got involved in fundraising activities, this time to help the amazing children’s charity Railway Children, which we have been involved with numerous times in the past. 

At Advance TRS, helping charities by fundraising regularly is at the heart of what we do. We care about others and we want to help make a difference.

The charity

Railway Children has been fighting for children alone and at risk on the streets for over 22 years. During that time, they’ve reached more than 275,000 children in India, the UK and East Africa.

Children run away or are forced to leave home where they suffer poverty, violence, abuse and neglect. They find themselves living on the streets because there is nowhere else to go and no one left to turn to. The problems they face on the streets are often even worse than those they endured at home. 

Railway Children’s pioneering work enables them to get to street children before the streets get to them. You can read more about this brilliant charity on their website.

Last year, the charity’s ‘Sleepout’ was very popular, however, for obvious reasons it wasn’t possible to repeat the event this year, and therefore, the equally successful ‘Sleep In’ was launched. 

Help us make a difference

Changing the format of the event meant the whole family was able to join in and give up the comfort of their usual beds for one night, by sleeping in whatever temporary camp they set up at home. Many of our colleagues built dens in their living rooms which you can see on our Instagram page.  

We set ourselves an ambitious target of £500 to raise for Railway Children. We recognise the impact the past year has had on everyone, including charities, and we would love to be able to help them make a difference! 

We haven’t reached our target yet and are grateful for every single donation, no matter how big or small! Our JustGiving page is still live and if you would like to donate, you can do so here.

Thank you to everyone for your generosity!

The charity Railway Children is incredibly important to the Advance TRS team, especially to our founder and Group MD Andy Ridout, who has seen first-hand the work the charity does on the streets in Africa and Nepal. 

Rail Aid

This year Railway Children have launched the Rail Aid mission, bringing the best of the UK rail community together to raise money and to support children around the world who have been struggling with the impacts of COVID. 

The UK lockdown has forced children to stay in homes where they didn’t feel safe, without the escape and protection of school. The extra stress placed on families already at breaking point has in many cases left young people even more vulnerable to grooming, exploitation by drugs gangs and mental health trauma. 

In India, millions of families have lost jobs, income and homes due to the pandemic, often leaving people to fear starvation more than the virus itself. Desperation has forced millions of children into child labour and marriage while others are simply being abandoned, left to traffickers and exploitation.

In Tanzania, children living in abject poverty relied on the one meal a day they got at school. When schools closed many headed to the streets to beg and scrounge for food, only to be subjected to brutal police round-ups and violence without access to food, water, sanitation or safety.

Rail Aid will send money directly to the communities most in need, using the established Railway Children network to support the most vulnerable children across the world to access help, food and support. 

Advance TRS Fundraising

Since establishing in 2011, giving back to those less fortunate and advancing others has been a central motivator for Andy and the growing Advance TRS team. Having personally championed Railway Children at different industry events for several years, he doesn’t want to miss the opportunity to help the charity make a difference, especially during these difficult times.

This year, more than ever physical activity has been essential to keep mind and body strong and healthy so the team is combining physical activity with fundraising to support Railway Children’s Rail Aid Campaign. 

Andy is leading the Advance TRS team in completing a virtual ‘triathlon’ of sorts to raise money for this fantastic charity. The team aims to cover as much ground as possible by walking, running, cycling or even doing HIIT workouts, all whilst staying safe and adhering to social distancing guidelines. 

Each team member is recording themselves in their activity which will be collated for what should make for a very entertaining video at the end of the month. (Watch this space!)

Donate

Please support the team to keep on moving this November by donating to our JustGiving fundraising page which you can access here. All donations for this amazing cause are greatly appreciated.

You are probably familiar with the annual event, Movember which involves the growing of moustaches during November to raise awareness of health issues men face, such as prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Another focus of the movement is on mental health and suicide prevention.

Whilst working more remotely this year our team members have taken up the challenge and been growing tashes themselves – more or less successfully to raise money for the Movember Foundation. 

To support the Advance TRS Mo Bros, we have set up our Movember fundraising page which you can access here. We think this is a brilliant cause and all donations are greatly appreciated. 

Money raised during Movember is put towards increasing early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, and ultimately reducing the number of preventable deaths. The Movember Foundation highlights the need for men to be aware of family history of cancer, adopt a healthier lifestyle and it encourages annual check-ups.

Follow our fundraising activities on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter for the latest news and take a look at our Advance Advice on Mental Health for further information.

Each year our team take on a 10k steps a day challenge throughout March to raise money for charity. This year we are delighted to raise money for Surrey-based Mental Health Charity, Oakleaf.

The annual challenge is a great opportunity for our team to kick-start getting out and about and moving ahead of the nicer summer months.

At Advance TRS, we prioritise the mental wellbeing of our staff. To provide the first point of contact when needed, we have appointed qualified Mental Health First Aiders. We also offer a Wellbeing Hub, where confidential support via an EAP helpline can be accessed at any time. These are only some of the steps we have taken and we continue to improve our mental health awareness.

As part of our commitment to reducing the stigma against mental ill-health, we are delighted to champion Oakleaf for this year’s 10k steps a day challenge.

You can donate to our fundraising effort here. Any contribution is much appreciated!

The charity

Oakleaf is a Surrey-based mental health charity which also works as a social enterprise to provide vocational training for those suffering from mental health issues.

Oakleaf Enterprise was registered as a charity in 1997 and has since then worked hard to benefit people in need. Their main focus is delivering vocational training and work experience in upholstery, horticulture and IT, enabling clients to gain new skills, as the first step on their return to the workplace.

Some of our team members took part in a firewalk to raise money and support Oakleaf last year. Read about it here.

About mental health

Mental health problems can present in a wide variety of ways and out of Guildford, Waverley and Woking’s 214,900 population of 18 to 64-year-olds, it is estimated that 19,242 people suffer mixed depression and anxiety.

Overall, one in four people suffers from anxiety and stress which can have a considerable impact on their work life. Recognising problems early and implementing initiatives to support staff and colleagues will be of real benefit to them.

At Advance TRS, we understand that reducing work-related stress can be hugely beneficial to all. We take our obligation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees seriously. Our comprehensive wellness programme and mental health awareness training have recently been recognised as Advance TRS were shortlisted as finalists in the Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing category in the Solent Business Awards 2019.

Follow our fundraising activities on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for the latest news and take a look at our Advance Advice on Mental Health in the workplace for further information.

#ATRS10KCHALLENGE

Our Group Managing Director Andy Ridout and Rail Director Michael Schruyers, were delighted to attend another great Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE) Scottish Section Dinner at the Marriott Hotel in Glasgow on 14th November.

A very big thank you goes out to everyone attending the dinner who donated so generously and raised £3,681 for children’s charity Railway Children!

Andy Ridout, Advance TRS Group MD, has been championing the charity for a number of years and is delighted with the amount raised – another substantial donation for a great cause, which will go towards helping the most vulnerable children worldwide.

“I can’t thank guests of the IRSE Scottish Section Dinner enough for their contributions” comments Andy.

“It’s incredible to see so many from the rail industry come together to change the lives of thousands of disadvantaged children each year.”

Railway Children is an international children’s charity, with outreach teams operating out of the UK, India and East Africa. Donations help to fund street teams that seek out children living in squalid conditions on the streets, where the charity’s team of experts can meet the child’s immediate needs and attempt to reintegrate them back into normality.

Since establishing in 2011, giving back to those less fortunate and advancing others has been a central motivator for founder Andy Ridout and the growing Advance TRS team, with new challenges, including the Oakleaf Firewalk, being completed every year.

Read more about our fundraising activities.

Today six of our colleagues braved the firewalk for World Mental Health Day 2019 and raised an amazing £559.25 for Surrey-based mental health charity Oakleaf Enterprise. A big thanks to everyone who donated so generously! 

Before the walk, the team received an hour’s training where they learned how to master the walk. It also involved snapping arrows on their necks.

Since establishing, charity work and fundraising have been a key priority for Founder Andy Ridout and the wider Advance TRS team and everyone did really well today and made it look so easy!

The charity

Oakleaf Enterprise is a Surrey-based mental health charity which also works as a social enterprise to provide vocational training for those suffering from mental health issues.

It was registered as a charity in 1997 and has since then worked hard to benefit people in need. Their main focus is delivering vocational training and work experience in upholstery, horticulture and IT, enabling clients to gain new skills, as the first step on their return to the workplace.

About mental health

Mental health issues are common and can present in a wide variety of ways. One in four people suffers from anxiety and stress which can have a considerable impact on their work life. Recognising problems early and implementing initiatives to support staff and colleagues will be of real benefit to them. 

At Advance TRS, we prioritise the mental wellbeing of our staff and understand that reducing work-related stress can be hugely beneficial to all. We take our obligation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees seriously. Our comprehensive wellness programme and mental health awareness training have recently been recognised as Advance TRS were shortlisted as finalists in the Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing category in the Solent Business Awards 2019. 

Follow our fundraising activities on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for the latest news and take a look at our Advance Advice on Mental Health for further information.

We have hosted another successful Macmillan Coffee Morning at the Advance TRS Guildford office this year. Everyone supported the fundraising morning by bringing in delicious bakes and generously donating for a great cause and we were able to raise £104, which is more than double last year’s sum.

With so many of our colleagues providing amazing cakes and pastries this year we will need to think about a marathon as our next fundraising challenge, to run off all the calories!

While we were really impressed with everyone’s effort, it was Leanne’s Salted Caramel Sponge Cake that took the crown this year – a well deserved Paul Hollywood handshake for you Leanne! Well done to all our bakers.

Macmillian Cancer Support

Macmillian takes the time to understand the support people need to live their lives as fully as they can. From the moment of diagnosis and whenever they’re most needed, Macmillian here to help people find their best way through. Their help is totally focused on each individual person, so everyone receives the support that’s best for them.

Every day around 1,000 people across the UK will find out that they have cancer.

It’s now estimated that half of all people will receive a cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with an average of around 150 cases diagnosed every day Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with 330,000 men living with prostate cancer in the UK.

People living with Cancer in the workforce

In 2015, there were an estimated 890,000 people of working age living with cancer in the UK. This is set to increase to 1,150,000 by 2030. An estimated 1 in 3 people living with cancer are of working age. 85% of people with cancer who were employed when diagnosed say it was important for them to continue work after diagnosis.

Follow our fundraising activities on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for the latest news.

Thursday 10th October marks World Mental Health Day and in true Advance TRS fashion, our bravest team members are taking on another challenge. In a bid to raise awareness for mental health and money for a great charity, the team will be focusing their minds over matter and walking on more than 500°C hot coals. 

Since establishing, charity fundraising and awareness-raising have been a key priority for Founder Andy Ridout and the wider Advance TRS team. This latest effort will see our firewalkers take part in an hour-long training seminar by two-time Guinness World Record holder Scott Bell before stepping onto the embers. We wish them the best of luck and will have the ambulance on speed dial.

Please click here to donate and help our team reach their goal.

The charity

The event is hosted by Oakleaf, a Surrey-based mental health charity which also works as a social enterprise to provide vocational training for those suffering from mental health issues.

Oakleaf Enterprise was registered as a charity in 1997 and has since then worked hard to benefit people in need. Their main focus is delivering vocational training and work experience in upholstery, horticulture and IT, enabling clients to gain new skills, as the first step on their return to the workplace.

About mental health

Mental health problems can present in a wide variety of ways and out of Guildford, Waverley and Woking’s 214,900 population of 18 to 64-year-olds, it is estimated that 19,242 people suffer mixed depression and anxiety. 

Overall, one in four people suffers from anxiety and stress which can have a considerable impact on their work life. Recognising problems early and implementing initiatives to support staff and colleagues will be of real benefit to them. 

At Advance TRS, we understand that reducing work-related stress can be hugely beneficial to all, and take our obligation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees seriously. Our comprehensive wellness programme and mental health awareness training have recently been recognised as Advance TRS were shortlisted as finalists in the Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing category in the Solent Business Awards 2019. 

Follow our fundraising activities on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for the latest news and take a look at our Advance Advice on Mental Health in the workplace for further information.

Advance TRS were delighted to attend the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE) Scottish Section meeting again this year, held in Glasgow at the Marriott Hotel.

As leading suppliers of specialist rail signalling engineers to both the London Underground and Network Rail networks, Advance TRS have been a key partner and member of IRSE since establishing in 2011.

“The annual Glasgow meeting always proves to be a great event, which is well attended by many professionals engaged in or associated with railway signalling and telecommunications, train control and traffic management professions.” Explains Specialist Recruitment Consultant – Signalling, Josh Hill.

“The IRSE continue to play a vital role in attracting, developing and retaining skilled engineers and technicians Technical Meetings and events across the country and internationally.”

Andy Mellors, Managing Director of South Western Railway, provided a keynote address in conjunction with IMechE prior to the main event, examining the economic and wider societal benefits that the rail industry delivers, and also discussing the current challenges facing the industry, the engineering profession and the institutions.

This was followed by an evening of networking, dinner and drinks. It’s always a pleasure to be in the same room as so many industry professionals, meeting new people, seeing old faces and talking about the future of the Railway!

Each year, there is an opportunity available for everyone to be able to donate money to the charity Railway Children. This year was no exception. Again, the astounding generosity of attendees raised a total of £3,100!

Railway Children is an international children’s charity, with outreach teams operating out of the UK, India and East Africa. Donations help to fund street teams that seek out children living in squalid conditions on the streets, where the charity’s team of experts can meet the child’s immediate needs and attempt to reintegrate them back into normality.

Since establishing in 2011, giving back to those less fortunate and advancing others has been a central motivator for founder Andy Ridout and the growing Advance TRS team. In previous years, Andy has personally championed the charity at different industry events, including IRSE dinners.

With over 200 signalling professionals currently working across London Underground on Europe’s largest rail signalling project, 4 lines Modernisation, Advance TRS is a leading recruitment specialist in rail signalling partnering key organisations, to provide them with skilled candidates to deliver signalling programmes aimed at increasing safety, capacity, reliability and performance across the rail network.

Click here to view the hottest rail signalling jobs and apply! Alternatively contact our team of expert recruiters directly by calling 01483 361061.

 

Advance TRS’s latest charity fundraising activity was somewhat less strenuous than our usual extreme challenges for good causes. The team competed in a company ‘Bake Off’ to raise money for Macmillian Cancer Support.

Everyone made a fantastic effort to support the team Bake Off, bringing in impressive home bakes, donating or just eating! Our judges ate their way through 10 different bakes before judging Chantal’s Advance TRS inspired cake and Steve’s surprisingly tasty New Zealand apple cake the very worthy winners!

The main controversy of the morning still remains – did Mick bake the cake or is Mrs Schruyers to thank…?

Macmillian Cancer Support

Macmillian takes the time to understand the support people need to live their lives as fully as they can. From the moment of diagnosis and whenever they’re most needed, Macmillian here to help people find their best way through. Their help is totally focused on each individual person, so everyone receives the support that’s best for them.

  • Every day around 1,000 people across the UK will find out that they have cancer
  • It’s now estimated that half of all people will receive a cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives.
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with an average of around 150 cases diagnosed every day
  • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with 330,000 men living with prostate cancer in the UK.

People living with Cancer in the workforce:

  • In 2015, there were an estimated 890,000 people of working age living with cancer in the UK. This is set to increase to 1,150,000 by 2030.
  • An estimated 1 in 3 people living with cancer are of working age.
  • 85% of people with cancer who were employed when diagnosed say it was important for them to continue work after diagnosis.

Follow our fundraising activities on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for the latest news.

With just 16% of jobs in rail filled by women, we need to understand how we can encourage others to join the industry and not just attract women to the railway, but also to keep, develop and promote them.

This was the key message shared at the launch of the Women in Rail South division, held in September at the Bath Function Rooms.

Set in the particularly fitting re-purposed old Green Park Railway Station in Bath, a mix of men and women from across the industry met to celebrate the launch of Women in Rail South.

Attendees heard from inspiring women working in a varied range of roles across the region, including Anna Delvecchio – Commercial Account Director for Amey, Joanna Whittington – Chief Executive Office of Rail and Road, Rajinder Pryor – Network Rail and Estelle Whittaker – CCO Achilles to name but a few.

In total, eight women shared their personal experience of working within the industry and told stories of why they love working in the rail sector.

From being part of an essential network underpinning the economic activity of the country to inspiring changes in attitudes and enjoying flexible working opportunities and the fantastic opportunity for promotion and personal development, each speaker shared their own reasons for loving being women in rail.

Inspiring speeches sparked interesting debate around what Women in Rail and the industry in general can do to close thegender gap in the railway sector, including;

  • Raising the profile of rail as a sector and engineering to school children
  • Boosting the profile of the rail industry to attract women to the sector
  • The need for male champions to further women in the industry
  • Flexible working/job shares and shared paternity leave
  • Celebrating the success / raising the profile of successful women as champions of the sector

But it wasn’t all serious talk, with networking drinks following the inspiring speeches, which provided a great opportunity to make new connections with people from all across the sector disciplines.

The evening proved to be a fantastic opportunity for members to meet others who live and work in the area, develop their professional network and engage with key industry leaders.

Are you looking for your next move in the rail sector? For our latest rail jobs, to register for job alerts straight to your inbox or view our live jobs here.

To find out more about Women in Rail and become a member, please visit: https://lnkd.in/eW6ApbG  

Our Infrastructure Director, Rob, completed the British 10k run in Westminster to raise money for the charity Pump Aid. He had a £100 target and has now raised £170!

Pump Aid work with some of the poorest and hardest to reach communities in the world and provide two of life’s basic needs; safe water and proper sanitation.

Their current programmes consist of working with local partners to increase access to clean water, sanitation, and nutrition in preschools in Malawi, improving the life chances of some of the world’s most poverty-stricken children.

They are working on expanding access to clean, safe and reliable sources of drinking water for greater numbers of rural communities in Malawi.

Another project of theirs is to educate. They have community facilitators who have been working closely with villages across some of the most remote areas of rural Malawi to improve health and sanitation among households. They guide conversations with communities to help them understand the behaviours that lead to illnesses that cause death, disability and stunted development. Educating the communities to implement simple measures in and around their homes.

They have also been trialling a different approach to reducing water poverty by bringing in a project called Self-supply, which involves training and mentoring local entrepreneurs to equip them with the skills they need to set up viable business to build sustainable water capacity in their own communities.
In just 12 months, over 20,000 people in poor rural communities have gained access to secure, sustainable water for communal, individual and farming use. Establishing local supply businesses has helped make water pumps in rural areas more sustainable, as well as creating more social and economic opportunities for the entrepreneurs, involved in our programme, and their wider communities. This entrepreneurial approach has trained local tradespeople, such as welders and metal workers to build, repair and maintain water pumps.

Advance TRS are specialist recruiters for the built environment. We are proudly working with Pump Aid as a chosen charity by our Water & Utilities team because of the wonderful work they do.
Managing Director, Andy Ridout has always challenged himself to raise money for charities and we are delighted that Rob has done the same this year for such a great cause!

Support Rob’s fundraising efforts online here.

The Advance TRS team return victorious after completing the 3 Peaks by Rail Challenge. The grueling challenge is not for the faint-hearted. The Advance TRS team was one of few teams where all team members completed all three mountains and were four out of 37 people who completed all three peaks!

Mick, Chantal, George and Sean endured and persevered, demonstrating incredible determination and teamwork to get through a really tough 48 hours. On the train from Crewe on the way to the first mountain, Mick says;

“Everyone discussed what they thought was in store, but everyone was way below the mark.”

The team spent weeks preparing themselves, from walking up hills on their lunch breaks to making sure they have all the equipment they needed. They started the first climb up Snowdon in the dark at 10:23 pm, navigating loose rock, spring water causing slippy patches and the freezing cold wind all in the pitch black. Nevertheless, they stuck together and got through returning to the base at 02:41 am, completing the first mountain in 4h17.

After a few hours of cramped attempts at sleep and more fantastic food laid on by the train crew the team begun the 6.5km trek to the second mountain on Friday morning. Scafell Pike proved the biggest test to the team, Sean explains;

“This mountain was by far the toughest.  The team effort was amazing to get to the top of this mountain, with others dropping out constantly it was a real challenge to try and carry on.”

6 hours and 38 minutes after their start from Brackenclose, all 4 of the Advance TRS team successfully completed the second mountain and were well over halfway.

The final and highest peak, Ben Nevis was the last hurdle of the challenge. George explains;

“The weather was not great and you couldn’t tell how high the mountain was as it was stuck up in the clouds. On the radio, all we heard was person after person dropping out of the challenge for various reasons. Undeterred we persevered through the wind, rain and even snow to complete this final mountain.”

Walking through clouds, in wet clothing made the final summit an extraordinary battle of determination with only the final descent ahead of them the team completed the final peak in 5h20, giving the team a total challenge time of 16h17.

Andy Ridout, Group Managing Director and founder of the company shares;

“What an achievement for the team completing this challenge. A great experience and something brilliant to be able to say that they have done. Hearing that only 37 people completed the whole challenge and the whole team of 4 were part of that 37 is just amazing. Congratulations to you all, you’ve done brilliantly. Not forgetting, raising money for the brilliant charity Railway Children.”

Now, home safe and sound, the challenge continues with another £1,500 remaining to raise for Railway Children. The team have already raised an incredible £2,057 for the children’s charity the team now have 5 weeks left to raise the remaining amount.

Show your support for their incredible effort by helping them over the final hurdle and donating to their online giving page.

The team’s final statistics:

Snowdon

Start 22:23:55

Finish 02:41:20

Time 04:17:25

Scafell Pike:

Start 10:00:50

Finish 16:39:37

Time 06:38:47

Ben Nevis:

Start 04:51:01

Finish 10:11:53

Time 05:20:52

Total walk time 16:17:04

Advance TRS are taking on the Three Peaks By Rail challenge next week!

On Thursday 14 June, the team will be arriving in Crewe to start their journey climbing Mount Snowdon throughout the night. Then they will be getting the train to the next mountain, Scafell Pike, which is the highest mountain in England at an elevation of 978 metres (3,209 ft) above sea level. Once they’ve climbed this they will then be getting the train again to the third and final peak, Ben Nevis. This is the highest peak in the British Isles which is in Scotland.

The three mountains total over 30km walking and over 3,000m of ascent. This challenge isn’t being taken lightly! The team have been training for weeks and are now gearing up for this two-day event.

The charity that organises this challenge are Railway Children who are an International children’s charity and they ‘believe in a world where no child ever has to live on the streets’. This year, Railway Children celebrates 20 years of fighting for children alone and at risk on the streets. During that time, they’ve reached more than 275,000 children in India, the UK and East Africa.

Advance TRS’s founder, Andy Ridout, and a few other members of our team, have completed numerous challenges like climbing some of the worlds highest mountains including Mt Everest and Kilimanjaro, completed Iron Man triathlons, marathons and cycling challenges to raise money and awareness for the charity. Some staff have even been out to Africa to visit the projects and witness what money raised can do to help vulnerable children in person.

We are aiming to raise £3,500 for taking part in this challenge!  Click here if you would like to support our team!

We wish our Three Peaks team the best of luck and thank the rest of the business for their fundraising efforts to help raise as much money as we can for this great charity.

On June 14th 2018, 4 of the Advance TRS team are taking on the Stadler Three Peaks Challenge By Rail for the children’s charity Railway Children!

As long-term supporters of Railway Children and specialist suppliers of skilled personnel for the rail industry, this is an ideal challenge for us to take on. We are delighted to take part in this year’s challenge.

This year Advance TRS Infrastructure Director, Mick, will be joined by some of the younger members of our team; Sean, Chantal and George in our latest challenge to raise money for Railway Children.

Railway Children:

Our team will be looking to raise over £3,500 for the charity. Railway Children is an international children’s charity, with outreach teams operating out of the UK, India and East Africa. Donations help to fund street teams that seek out children living in squalid conditions on the streets, where the charity’s team of experts can meet the child’s immediate needs and attempt to reintegrate them back into normality.

Since establishing in 2011, giving back to those less fortunate and advancing others has been a central motivator for founder Andy Ridout and the growing Advance TRS team. To date, Andy and the Advance team have climbed some of the worlds highest mountains including Mt Everest and Kilimanjaro, completed Iron Man triathlons, marathons and cycling challenges to raise money and awareness for the charity. Some staff have even been out to Africa to visit the projects and witness what money raised can do to help vulnerable children in person.

The Challenge:

The 3 peaks challenge is well known to be a gruelling test of fitness and determination. Over 24 hours, the teams will climb the 3 highest peaks in Wales, England and Scotland, totalling over 30km walking and over 3,000m of ascent.

They will start from Mount Snowdon, climbing throughout the night of the 14th June before getting the train to Dalegarth and climbing Scafell Pike. They will then head to the third, final and highest peak, Ben Nevis. This will involve over 1325m of climbing and a 7.5km trek from start to summit before heading back down the mountain.

We wish all four of our colleagues the best of luck on their training for the next 10 weeks and will be working together to raise as much as possible to smash our £3,500 target!

Support our fundraising effort and donate online here.

This March, a team from Advance TRS have taken on Cancer Research UK’s #WalkAllOverCancer challenge, each team member committing to walking 10,000 steps a day in March.

Ranging from company directors to consultants, and the back office team, each division of the company is represented and we are keeping track of everyone’s progress with a company steps leaderboard.

As a competitive bunch, we have upped the stakes by adding our own incentives into the mix. The person who completes the least amount of steps each week must donate a mandatory contribution to our fundraising whilst the person who completes the least amount of steps throughout the whole month will have to take up a forfeit… watch this space!

Follow us on twitter to keep up to date with daily updates on the latest leaderboard scores and make sure to cheer on for your favourite team member!!

Whilst we are all enjoying the fun and games of a little healthy competition, we are all doing all this to help beat cancer sooner. Cancer survival rates have doubled over the past 40 years. Consistent progress is being made but improvements to technology and ground-breaking work offer new opportunities to find different ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer and improve survival rates even further. Help us Walk All Over Cancer and fund life-saving research by sponsoring our team through our online fundraising page.

Final update: we have managed to raise

£1000 for Cancer Research UK!

Well done everyone and thank you all again for your sponsors. We did this for a great cause and all donations are very much appreciated by us and of course, by Cancer Research UK.

Keep up to date with updates from the team!

30 days completed!

We completed our #walkallovercancer challenge on the 30th March! The total amount of steps our team completed over the 30 days was 4,942,637. This equates to 2,340.264 miles which means we walked from Guildford to St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada!

Thank you so much to everyone who has sponsored us for Cancer Research UK. We’ve raised £965 so far with some donations still coming in so we are hoping to smash our £250 and make it over £1000 and we’re really grateful and proud of the support we’ve had. Thank you everyone!

Here’s the overall top 5 of the challenge:
1. Steve – 574,934
2. Louise – 414,555
3. Vickie – 406,201
4. Michelle 0 379,011
5. Mick – 367, 803

A massive well done to all who took part but an even bigger well done to Steve who absolutely smashed the 300,000 step target!

Day 28

We are almost at the end of our #walkallovercancer challenge with just 2 days to go. We can’t believe it’s been nearly a whole month! The total number of steps stands at 4,520,992. This equates to 2,260.496 miles, which means we have walked all the way from Guildford to Jerusalem, or we have walked from Guildford to Tunisia and back… that sounds pretty impressive to us!

The top 5 on the leaderboard are as follows:

  1. Steve – 519,992
  2. Louise – 385,223
  3. Vickie – 380,546
  4. Michelle – 369,738
  5. Mick – 338,785

We have managed to raise £195.00 now which is great. Our target is £250.00 so we just need £55.00 more to reach the final goal! Cancer has affected near enough everyone in one way or another, which is why we’ve chosen to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Feel free to visit our donation page by clicking here.

Keep your eye out for the announcement of the office winner of the challenge after Easter!

Day 21

With 10 days to go until the end of the challenge, the team is still going strong! Two of our team, Steve and Vickie, have hit 300,000 steps which is incredible. Louise isn’t far behind that mark either so it’s still all to play for!

The bottom 5 team members are Pete, George, Andy, Sam and Paul… Who is the forfeit and the wooden spoon going to be awarded to?

We’ve also had a few more donations and have now raised £110 so far. We would love to reach a target of £250 so if anyone is feeling generous please click here to donate!

Day 15

We are two weeks into our challenge now and we already have a 200k club! Our team are doing brilliantly and we have now raised £85 in total online so far. We are extremely grateful for every penny. Today is penalty day, so anyone in the team who hasn’t reached the 150,000 steps mark has to pay a penalty onto our fundraising page!

In total, we have walked 2,471,709 steps which seems like an incredible amount. Take a look at our Twitter account for our top 10 updates!

The 200k club
  1. Steve – 289,013
  2. Vickie – 222,723
  3. Louise – 207,722
  4. Michelle – 207,688

Day 12

12 days into the challenge and the numbers are really starting to stack up! With 1.9 million steps having been walked between us, equating to roughly 945 miles, or the equivalent of walking from Guildford to Lisbon with another 19 days to go! Please to help us on our way by donating to our fundraising page! For every £1 we raise the company will match the donations, doubling your money!

Day 9

The competition is well and truly heating up now with a leading pack having broken out with 7 people who have already completed over 100k steps. People are going further than simply aiming to complete their 10k steps and aiming for a prized spot in the Top 5!

The 100k Club
  1. Steve – 168,757
  2. Michelle – 120,040
  3. Louise – 116,527
  4. Vickie – 115,568
  5. Mick – 107,274
  6. Carolyn – 104,158
  7. Jess – 100,115

Day 8

One week into the challenge and the competition is heating up. With 80k steps to get before midnight tonight to stay on track, challengers have started to get imaginative to get their steps in. One person who has climbed her way up the rankings is our Finance Director, Carolyn who made the most of a few days away in Newcastle, exploring the city and getting 30k steps in 2 days. A lunchtime walking club has also sprung up, with groups of people venturing out for a wander around town to make up steps each day. Follow us on Instagram to see what we have been up to!

Day 5

With the snow finally subsiding the weather is looking much more conducive to getting our steps in this week! The weekend has turned the leaderboard upside down with some lazy days and marathon efforts leaving it all to play for! As it stands the ladies are smashing it with 4 of the 5 of the top spots taken by the girls!

Top 5 – 10am Day 5
  1. Steve – 98,794
  2. Michelle – 63,462
  3. Louise – 62,337
  4. Beth – 53,798
  5. Vickie – 53,558

Day 2

Day 2 of the challenge and the snow has thrown a curve ball for many peoples plans to hit the magic 10k a day! With half our team working from home people have had to get inventive with their walking – more than a few walks around peoples coffee tables to get the steps in today! One person who has not shied away from the challenge is Steve – rather than admit defeat, being unable to drive out of his road he took on the challenge to walk the 10-mile cross country trek from Farnham to Head Office in Guildford and back again. Not one to miss out on his training he also managed to fit in two gym sessions, just for the fun of it.

Day 1

Great start to the 10k a day challenge with snowfall creating a complete whiteout for most of Surrey. Not to be out-done and unable to get his car out of the driveway, 3 time Iron Man and Group Managing Director Andy Ridout took the days coveted top spot by running the 4.5 miles from his house to the station!

At the end of Day 1 the top 5 stand at:
  1. Andy – 14,401
  2. Michelle – 13,876
  3. Louise – 13,312
  4. Ella – 13,047
  5. Mick – 12,804

Follow our progress on twitter or Instagram!

Support our team and donate online here.

Andy Ridout, Group Managing Director of Advance-TRS has announced that he will take part in a double fundraising challenge, starting in August with the Copenhagen Ironman followed by a trek up the world’s highest freestanding mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of Railway Children.

To date Andy has raised over £30,000 for the children’s charity, undertaking challenges including the Norseman Ironman, Mount Everest base camp trek, the Tour de Yorkshire and the London Marathon.

Railway Children is an international children’s charity that fights for vulnerable homeless children who live frightening lives on our streets, where they often become victims of abuse and exploitation.

“In India 11 million children live on the streets, in the UK 100,000 run away from home every year, often as a result of sexual abuse, neglect and violence. As a father of four myself, hearing some of the horror stories that these children live on a day-to-day basis is extremely harrowing. The innocence of children is a priceless commodity and one which is cruelly taken away by those who seek only to coerce and exploit,” says Andy. “For those of us who have children, it’s a cause that hits close to home as we often forget how unfortunate many other children are in this world.”

This year, in his quest to raise more funds and awareness he will be aim to complete two further challenges, once again pushing his body to the limit of physical endurance.

KMD Ironman Copenhagen

The KMD Ironman will see Andy once again take on an extreme triathlon challenge, swimming 3.8km, cycling 180km and then running a marathon through the city centre of Copenhagen.

The event will see its contestants swim the artificial lagoon at Amager Strandpark stretching 3.8km, an agonising 180 km bike ride through North Zealand with a mix of city centre, coastline and countryside, followed by a gruelling marathon through the Danish capital. The four-lap run course is a tourist attraction in itself passing the city’s historic and famous attractions, such as the Little Mermaid, Amalienborg Castle and New Harbor.

Kilimanjaro – Rongai Route

Standing at 5,895m/19,341ft, Kilimanjaro is the highest freestanding mountain in the world. Andy’s trek up the gargantuan mountain will utilise the Rongai Route from the northeastern side, passing alongside the border between Tanzania and Kenya.

Andy will trek through several different climate zones, before summiting on what is likely to be one of his toughest days trekking yet. He will then visit a Railway Children project at Mwanza to see at first hand what a difference your donations make.

Andy’s determination and commitment is evident for all to see. His technical recruitment consultancy Advance-TRS has rapidly grown since its establishment 6 years ago.

Advance-TRS is a niche recruitment consultancy specialising in the provision of highly-skilled technical professionals for the built environment. They provide permanent, contract and temporary recruitment solutions to candidates and clients across a number of key technical sectors including rail, water & utilities, energy, telecoms, construction and property services.

“This challenge will be made a whole lot easier with your generous donations, and I can’t do this without your help. Any amount that you can donate will be warmly received and goes directly towards helping the world’s most vulnerable children”.

Support Andy’s effort by donating online at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AndyRidout

This year’s Railway Ball was another huge success, raising over £449,000 for children’s charity Railway Children.

Advance-TRS were delighted to contribute over £1,600 to the total raised by successfully bidding on tickets in the charity auction.

Over 1,200 industry professionals attended the prestigious evening of entertainment and fundraising contributing to an incredible running total of over £5 million raised at the Railway Ball over the years.

Advance-TRS have a long standing relationship with Railway Children. Over the past 5 years, the team have raised over £30,000 through sporting challenges and activities to support children across the UK, India and East Africa who find themselves forced to leave homes that have become unbearable through poverty, abuse, violence and neglect.

In the UK alone, a child runs away from home every 5 minutes to live on the streets with nowhere else to go and nobody to turn to. Railway Children race to get to children before the streets get to them.

Most recently this September, Advance-TRS Marketing Director, Vicky Ridout joined a team of a team of 20 rail professionals in an 11-day expedition to climb to the summit of Mount Kenya and to raise money to provide shelter, food, clothing and medical supplies to vulnerable children at home and abroad.

This was a huge personal challenge for the mother of four as she scaled the 17,000ft mountain in 90 miles per hour winds and met with the street children supported by the charity; witnessing first hand the impact of living on the streets.

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Guests at a members dinner for the IRSE Scottish section raised an astounding £3,327 for children’s charity Railway Children this November after a personal plea from Andy Ridout, Group Managing Director of rail recruitment consultancy Advance-TRS.

This was an incredible increase on last year’s total of £2,174 raised for the children’s charity. This latest collection adds to a running total of over £35,000 raised by the team at Advance-TRS by kind donations from rail professionals across the sector over the past 5 years.

“It’s inspiring to see so many from the rail industry come together to change the lives of thousands of disadvantaged people every year” commented Ridout.

“There’s not enough I could say to thank the members of the IRSE Scottish section for their substantial donations at the recent dinner in Glasgow. Their donations will go towards helping the most vulnerable children worldwide.”

Railway Children is an international children’s charity, with outreach teams operating out of the UK, India and East Africa. Donations help to fund street teams that seek out children living in squalid conditions on the streets, where the charity’s team of experts can meet the child’s immediate needs and attempt to reintegrate them back into normality.

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“Together, we can all advance.”

Advance-TRS’s Marketing Director Vicky Ridout is due to join a team of rail professionals to climb Mount Kenya this September.

Since Andy Ridout established the rail recruitment firm in 2011 Advance-TRS has had a strong association with international children’s charity Railway Children.

Andy has already completed mega triathlons, marathons and climbed Everest to raise money and awareness for the street children supported by Railway Children. Now Marketing Director Vicky has taken up her own challenge for the charity.

“I’m sure everyone who knows me will be surprised by the fact that I have signed up to partake in a monumental climb of the 17000ft Mount Kenya” explains Vicky.

“This will be a huge personal challenge and something quite out of character but I am excited about this latest opportunity to work with Railway Children and help to give all children the right to be children, a right to education and a right to wake up each morning in a safe place without fear.”

Vicky’s hike will lead her to Point Lenana, the highest trekking point of Mount Kenya via dense rainforest, vast moorlands, rocky valleys and deep rocky gorges.

Once the climb and descent are complete Vicky and her fellow hikers will make the journey to the streets of Kitale, the location of one of the many Railway Children project centres and an area renowned for its vast amount of children street children. Here she will meet with the young people helped by the project and see the impact of living on the streets up close.

In Kenya, 250,000 children live on the streets and in the UK a child runs away from home every 5 minutes.

Show your support and donate online via Vicky’s Virgin Money Giving page or track Vicky’s progress by following Advance-TRS on social media.

Your donation can make all the difference for young people abroad and in the UK.

  • Just £3 could feed a child 3 times a day in a Railway Children shelter for a week in India.
  • £10 could keep a Railway Children team member on the streets in the UK for an hour.
  • £20 could provide overnight clothing and toiletries for a child at a runaway refuge within the UK.
  • £60 could fund a medical check-up and medication for a child in Kenya for a year.
  • £100 would give a child in India 3 meals a day, new clothing, healthcare, counselling, basic education and protection for up to 6 months.

“Together we can all advance.”

Andy Ridout enjoyed success in his first outing at the British Water’s Annual Charity Golf Day at Bowood Park Golf Club in Wiltshire. The event, organised by British Water to promote their chosen charities raised an incredible £2,200 for Water Aid and the Disabled Golf Association. Ten teams competed for the four-ball team cup with prizes awarded for the best individual, nearest the pin and longest drive.

Managing Director of Advance-TRS, Andy Ridout was delighted to be on this year’s winning team joined by Matt Wilkes of Odour Services International Limited, Sue Robertson from the Disabled Golf Association and Jason Powell of Haig Engineering.

Andy explained, “It was a really great day out, all the better for raising money for such deserving charities. British Water provided a fantastic opportunity to meet with professionals from across the sector and network over some friendly competition.”

Since branching out into the Water and Utilities sector earlier this year Advance-TRS’ Water division has gone from strength to strength securing new contracts on exciting projects across the sector.

For the latest opportunities in the Water and Utilities sector visit our Water & Utilities Jobs Board.

“Together we can all advance.”

Three senior staff from Advance Training & Recruitment Services successfully completed the London Marathon last month, together raising just under £10,000 for children’s charities Railway Children and Action for Children.

Operations Director Paul Merton, Managing Director Andy Ridout and Signalling Division Manager Sam Jennings each completed the 26.2-mile run following months of intensive training and preparation.

The guys joined around 38,000 other runners including Dame Kelly Holmes MBE and Top Gear’s Chris Evans at the marathon’s starting point on the 24th of April. The famous route sends runners-up to Woolwich and along the River Thames before circling the Isle of Dogs, looping back towards Westminster where the final stretch culminates at St James Park.

Managing Director, Andy Ridout ran in aid of Railway Children, the international children’s charity that aims to change the lives of children living on the streets of the UK, India and East Africa. Raising more than £6,400, Andy adds to an already impressive fundraising total, having raised money for the charity since 2011.

Paul and Sam both ran in aid of Action for Children, a UK-based charity that operates a number of different services for children and their families, ranging from intensive family support to fostering and adoption. Combined, the two raised more than £3,000 for Action for Children, an outstanding achievement.

Signalling recruiter Sam completed the marathon with the fastest time, clocking in at just under 4 hours. His incredible journey started last year when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a game of Sunday football. After months of tireless recovery, Sam began training again and set a target to enter and complete the London Marathon in 2016.

“Admittedly,” says Sam “entering the race was the easy part. The reality quickly came crashing down once I began training 5 days a week at 6 am in freezing weather. I was also struggling with constant niggling injuries that hampered my rehabilitation. It’s been a tough road to recovery to get to where I am now but it’s all been well worth it to raise money for a worthwhile cause.”

“Together, we can all advance.”

Representatives from Advance Training & Recruitment Services were out in force at the Surrey Half Marathon this past weekend in preparation for the fast-approaching London Marathon in April.

Managing Director Andy Ridout, Operations Director Paul Merton and Lead Signalling Consultant Sam Jennings all took to Woking this past Sunday to run the Surrey Half Marathon, a 13.1 mile run starting at Woking, continuing up through Worplesdon towards Guildford before winding back down into Woking town centre.

The guys were in high spirits after crossing the finishing line having all recorded an impressive completion time.

Sam – 1 hour 42 minutes
Andy – 1 hour 55 minutes
Paul – 2 hours 5 minutes

Now all the hard work begins as the team sets their sights on the big one; the London Marathon. Paul, Sam and Andy will be joining around 38,000 other runners including Dame Kelly Holmes MBE and Top Gear’s Chris Evans on the 24th April for the annual spectacle through the heart of the British capital.

Starting at Blackheath, the route will take the advance-TRS team up to Woolwich and along the River Thames before circling the Isle of Dogs, looping back towards Westminster where the final stretch will see the boys completing the 26.2-mile course at St James Park.

Paul and Sam are both running for Action for Children, a British charity that operates a number of essential services aimed at aiding children and their families, from fostering and adoptions to working with families with disabled children.

Andy is running in aid of Railway Children, an international children’s charity that helps to protect vulnerable children and young adults living on the streets of the UK, India and East Africa. Andy previously raised more than £12,000 for Railway Children taking part in an Ironman triathlon in 2013.

“It’s been fantastic to see such a strong reaction throughout the office from team members who want to raise money for some magnificent causes,” says Sam Jennings. “It’s going to be a tough day on the 24th of April make no mistake but as a team, it’s something we’re all really relishing.”

The advance-TRS team hope to raise a combined total of £10,000 to help change the lives of vulnerable children across the globe. You can help make a difference to the lives of so many people today by making a small pledge at Sam, Andy and Paul’s fundraising pages.

Sam Jennings – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SamJennings10
Andy Ridout – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AndyRidout 
Paul Merton – https://www.justgiving.com/paulmerton2016

“Together, we can all advance.”

At a recent dinner organised by the Institution of Railway Signalling Engineers (IRSE) in Glasgow, Andy Ridout, managing director of advance Training & Recruitment Services took to the stage to help raise funds for the children’s charity, Railway Children.

Earlier this year, Ridout climbed to the base camp at Mount Everest in a gruelling 12-day expedition that saw the recruitment guru scale more than 60% up to the world’s highest peak. Prior to the excursion, diners at the IRSE’s Scottish section dinner put their hands into their pockets to the tune of £2,174 and this year they have been even more generous, raising more than £2,828.

If I Grow Up

Railway Children is an international children’s charity operating throughout the UK, India and East Africa. They fund outreach workers who seek out and gain the trust of children living on the streets, providing them with a safe place to stay whilst they work out the best long-term solution for them.

The charity has been selected as a partner for the UK Government’s prestigious UK Aid Match scheme, run by the Department for International Development (DfID). This scheme means that all donations received before the 22nd January 2016 will be matched pound for pound.

The charity is aiming to raise £300,000 before this date, which the government will double to £600,000 to help twice as many children. Ridout’s fundraising of £2,828 will be aid-matched to £5,656 along with added Gift Aid of £645 taking the total fundraising up to £6,301!

Next September, advance-TRS’ very own marketing director, Vicky Turner will be climbing to the peak at Mount Kenya in aid of Railway Children. You can find out more about Vicky’s journey at her fundraising page at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/advanceTRS

Find out more about the great work that Railway Children do by visiting http://www.railwaychildren.org.uk/

“Together, we can all advance.”

Andy Ridout, managing director of Advance Training & Recruitment Services, has announced that he will take part in a trifecta of fundraising challenges in 2015, starting in March with a trek to the base camp at Mount Everest in aid of Railway Children.

In little over a year, Andy has managed to raise more than £13,500 as a result of his impressive Ironman victory in late 2013 and the Tour de Yorkshire sporting event, cycling the first stage of the Tour de France with colleague Paul Merton. The recruitment chief is now determined to add to that remarkable tally and aims to raise more than £6,500 in 2015, topping the grand total up to an extraordinary £20,000.

As well as climbing up Everest, Andy plans on cycling a thigh-burning 302 kilometres through mountainous Welsh countryside in an event aptly dubbed the ‘Dragon Devil’ in June, whilst late 2015 will see Andy relay swimming through the English Channel for Cancer Research UK; a year long mega-triathlon!

Following TV’s Brian Blessed at this year’s Roundhouse networking event dinner, Andy delivered a rousing speech on behalf of Railway Children, urging rail executives from across the industry to join him in a once in a lifetime excursion in aid of an incredible cause.

Resting at 17,575ft above sea level, Everest’s Base Camp is the famous camping plain with breathtaking views of the Nepalese Himalayas. The expedition is expected to take around 12 days to complete, with Andy and company trekking more than 113 kilometres.

A previous expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro organised by Railway Children raised more than £194,000 and it is hoped that next year’s total will be even higher.

Railway Children is an international children’s charity that works to reach homeless children on the streets of the UK, East Africa and India. In the UK alone, a child runs away from home every five minutes, forced to flee as a result of poverty, abuse, violence or neglect. ‘That’s a frightening statistic that requires immediate attention’ says Andy.

‘As a father of four myself, hearing some of the horror stories that these children live on a day-to-day basis is extremely harrowing. The innocence of children is a priceless commodity and one which is cruelly taken away by those who seek only to coerce and exploit. For those of us who have children, it’s a cause that hits close to home as we often forget how unfortunate many other children are in this world.’

Andy was recently nominated for the coveted ‘David Maidment Award for Charity’ at this year’s RailStaff Awards, by Dave Ellis, corporate partnerships manager at Railway Children. His nomination came as a result of the continued fundraising
and awareness that he has generated for the charity over the past few years, namely from the Ironman which created a huge amount of buzz throughout the industry.

‘I’m delighted to have become a finalist for this prestigious award two years running now. We are very proud of our corporate partnership with Railway Children and will continue fundraising and generating awareness wherever and whenever we can.’

Andy’s determination and commitment is evident for all to see. His rail recruitment and training consultancy, Advance-TRS, now turns over in excess of £5 million per year, recruiting 20 in-house staff at its new Guildford-based headquarters. ‘We are now working very closely with the industry’s biggest contractors on the UK’s biggest projects; I’m extremely excited for what we have planned in 2015 and relish the challenges that lie ahead.’

Andy will be carrying a giant banner to the base camp at Everest. There are limited sponsorship opportunities to add your company’s logo to this banner and have it proudly lifted 17,000ft high in the Himalayas.

Photographs of Andy holding the banner will be used in numerous press releases, social media and e-mail marketing campaigns, so it is a fantastic opportunity to benefit from some great PR whilst saving the lives of children worldwide.

To discuss sponsorship opportunities, call Andy directly on 01483 361 061 or e-mail ar@advance-trs.com

Donate before Andy’s expedition in March by visiting his fundraising page today at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AndyRidout

This month, a team from Advance-TRS successfully raced the route of the first stage of the Tour de France to raise money for Railway Children.

Sunday 13th of July saw Managing Director, Andy Ridout and Operations Director, Paul Merton swap suits and mobile phones for Lycra and sports bottles, as the duo successfully completed the 120-mile Tour de Yorkshire sportive in support of Railway Children, raising more than £650 for the esteemed children’s charity.

Railway Children is an international children’s charity that aims to support children who run away from home to live on the dangerous streets of our towns and cities. In the UK alone, a child runs away from home every five minutes, that’s 100,000 children under 16 a year.

Merton and Ridout joined 160 other cyclists at the start line at Ilkley, Yorkshire early Sunday morning before setting off on the turn-by-turn recreation of the first stage of the Tour de France. The challenging route circles up and around the breathtaking Yorkshire Dales and includes a torturous 9,924ft ascent just to ensure those thighs were burning!

“It was easily the most challenging thing I’ve ever had to do,” commented Merton. “It really puts into perspective, the sheer energy and determination required by those currently cycling the complete 21 stage route.”

The charity expects to have raised over £30,000 from the event, which will go straight towards helping fund outreach projects for children in India, East Africa and the UK. These projects provide shelter, food, clothing, medical supplies, education and counselling to thousands of children in these at-risk areas.

“Railway Children is a fantastic charity and we will continue doing whatever we can to raise money and awareness for this great cause,” commented Ridout. “There are already plans in the pipeline for ways to raise even more towards the tail end of 2014 and beyond.”

The Advance-TRS team has so far managed to raise more than £650 for the children’s charity but there is still time to donate to this fantastic cause. Visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/advanceTRS today and donate whatever you can to help improve the lives of children across the globe.

It has been little over 8 months since Andy Ridout, Managing Director of Advance Training & Recruitment Services, undertook one of the most challenging trials known to athletes worldwide, the Ironman Triathlon. Back in September of 2013, Ridout endured a 2.4 mile swim through icy freshwater, a testing 110-mile cycle, followed by an agonising marathon across the strenuous Dartmoor terrain; it was a challenge that tested his endurance, courage and determination to the very limit.

His efforts weren’t without recognition however, as Andy rallied supporters from across the rail industry and beyond to raise a substantial total of £12,777, an amount that eclipsed his original target of £10,000. Presenting his final fundraising total with a cheque at the Dinner at the Derby Roundhouse, Andy joined hundreds from within the Rail industry in raising in excess of £85,000 for Railway Children.

Not to be one to rest on his laurels, Ridout is back once again and this time he’s joined by Operations Director, Paul Merton as they begin their vigorous training to compete in the Tour de Yorkshire, a road by road recreation of the first stage of the Tour de France, aptly named ‘Le Grande Départ’. The Tour de Yorkshire, organised in association with Railway Children, is a 120-mile route starting in Ilkley, circling up and through the breath-taking Yorkshire dales before finishing back in Ilkley, having endured a tortuous 9,294ft ascent.

The daring duo hope to raise more than £1,000 for Railway Children, the international children’s charity aimed at helping children that are forced to live out on the streets. In the UK alone, a child runs away from home every 5 minutes, forced to flee as a result of abject poverty, violence and neglect. The money generously raised by those in the rail industry has gone towards staffing teams that seek to help children on the streets, providing survival kits, as well as sending health volunteers with medicine and first aid equipment to India’s most exploited regions.

“Presenting a cheque for £12,777 to Railway Children at the Derby Roundhouse last year was one of my proudest moments” says Ridout, “So much work had gone into training as well as fundraising in the months leading up to the event and to be able to say that we smashed that £10,000 target was a real honour. Now the hard work starts all over again, make no mistake, the Tour de Yorkshire will be no easy feat but it is one that we are thoroughly relishing.”

You can find more information about Railway Children and the Tour de Yorkshire and donate to help homeless children by visiting http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/advanceTRS

“It has been an emotional twelve months,” says Andy Ridout, who will celebrate his 41st birthday two days after completing the Ironman race. “The training has definitely been tough with many obstacles along the way, but here we are with just two weeks to go and I’m starting to wind down. The next couple of weeks will be all about the tapering period; resting my muscles, rejuvenating sports massages and keeping hydrated to ensure that my body is in top condition on the day. ”

In case you haven’t heard, Andy Ridout, Managing Director of advance Training and Recruitment Services will be competing in Dartmoor’s Horseman Ironman on 14th September. The event that will see him withstand a 2.4-mile swim, a 108-mile cycle followed by a marathon across high gradients will raise around £10,000 for Railway Children, the charity that helps street children across the UK, India and Africa.

Andy explains, ‘I entered the race for two reasons; to raise money for a very worthwhile charity and for the physical challenge. I met with Dave Ellis of Railway Children who really impressed me; I wanted to do something beyond the norm to help him raise awareness as well as a decent amount of money.

Andy’s whole demeanour exudes determination and it’s clear that his main strength is his outstanding ability to keep going no matter what, a quality that has been reflected throughout his 16-year recruitment career, however, like most athletes, Andy’s journey has been awash with up’s and down’s.

‘I am really looking forward to the race, it has been a long hard road getting to this point and I’m filled with a mix of excitement and apprehension.’ ‘A lot of my dedication to training is led by fear of pain during the race, the event is won and lost in the year leading up to it, not on the day, if you don’t train hard enough it’s over before you’ve begun.’

‘My hope for the day is simply to complete the race without injury or mechanical issues!’ Said Andy, The race can take between 12 and 16 hours depending on fitness and luck on the day. Andy admits that his journey to the Ironman has been a long road, evoking many dilemmas along the way; ‘I have had to invest heavily in planning my life in order to balance family, work and training commitments, I haven’t always got it right but have learnt a great deal along the way. I am lucky enough to have an incredibly supportive family and have learned that balance is the key to a full life.’

‘I have to say I feel fantastic in my health and body, exercise gives you a clear mind and energy to approach each day and its challenges. I truly believe that with focus and dedication everyone can achieve their goals if they truly aspire to meet them.’

‘After the event, I will be looking forward to a number of things. My main priority will be the birth of my much-anticipated baby who is due 14th Nov. My partner has been a rock for twelve months and she is long overdue some attention, especially being 7 months pregnant!
Andy will be announcing his fundraising grand total on 10th October at the annual Dinner at the Roundhouse event where he will be presenting a cheque to Railway Children!

There is still time to support Andy and help him reach his £10,000 target, to do so you can visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AndyRidout  or TEXT Rail99 followed by £2, £5 or £10 to 70070.

“Together we can end child exploitation.”

The man everyone’s talking about, Andy Ridout, Managing Director of advance Training and Recruitment Services (advance-TRS), is storming towards his fundraising target of £10,000. As previously reported, the driven Recruitment guru will be embarking on his second Ironman challenge this September, in honour of the charity Railway Children. Having already raised a staggering £7,221.00 Andy looks set to make a big difference to the cause that improves the lives thousands of young people each year.

In the UK 100,000 children run away annually, their disappearance often goes unreported. William, aged 14 was one such child. Having been subjected to neglect by his mother, a drug addict, William had no bedroom, had never been to school and was surrounded by substance abusers on a daily basis.

Three weeks after he left home, he was noticed by a concierge who put him in touch with Aberlour, the young runaway service supported by Railway Children. Homeless, hungry and withdrawn William was given a place to stay and began to reveal himself as an articulate and kind young man. William began attending school and is now training as an apprentice.

There are thousands more children like William across the UK, many run away in an attempt to escape, violence, physical or sexual abuse and neglect at home. They are forced to sleep rough on the streets, unnoticed and uncared for, often ‘dropping out’ of society altogether. Railway Children helps to provide safe places for these young people.

Children’s Services Manager, Laura Irvine has been working closely with the charity for the past 10 years. She commented,

“So many young people are overlooked; children must feel safe, loved and secure in order to become the adults we need in our society. If we ignore our young people it is us who will be responsible for the adults they become. Children are our future and must be nurtured”

Clare was 14 when her mum told her she didn’t want her anymore.

“It all started to go wrong when my mum and dad split up,” she explained. “Mum was out all the time leaving me alone with me younger brother. She would arrive home drunk and play music really loud. We usually had to stay up at night to look after her.”

Despite being kept up late, Clare and her brother were expected to get up for school, her mum would get angry and hit them when they said they were tired. At school they were usually in no fit state to learn, would fight and get into trouble.

The day her mum told her to leave, Clare went to school as usual, and then to her dad’s house.

“I got a phone call from my mum saying to come and pick my clothes up. When we got to the house all my clothes were in bags outside”

Clare’s dad was supportive but worked long hours and had to leave the house early. Gradually she began associating with the wrong people, not going to school, and staying out at night.

“Sometimes I’d come home in the early hours of the morning and sometimes I wouldn’t come back at all.”

Eventually, Clare’s dad became worried and reported her missing to the police. As a result, she was referred to the local runaway project and was allocated a key worker funded by Railway Children.

The key worker built up a relationship with Clare and worked on her self-esteem and coping strategies through getting her involved with positive activities. As a result Clare’s self-esteem has increased. Her attendance at school has risen from 60% to 92%, she no longer runs away or gets into trouble with the police and she wants to work with young people as a career.

In a society that claims to offer equal opportunities, it is ironic that so many children are ignored, forgotten and allowed to slip through the net into poverty and abuse. According to Laura the economic downturn has, without a doubt, seen the situation become worse. Many families are breaking down due to financial stresses, resulting in a higher percentage of ‘at risk’ children.

A spokesperson for Railway Children commented “There are many things that can be done to ease the pressure for families. People need safe places across the country that can offer support free of judgement”

Andy is doing all he can to help the Railway Children and is training hard to ensure that his target is reached.

“I have been running 6 miles to work and home every day” he explained. “I will be entering the Reading Half Marathon in March, The London Marathon in April, The Windsor Triathlon in June, and other smaller events in between. It is my aim to get everybody involved in what I’m doing, whether it be by coming along to offer support, donating, or entering yourself!”

“All children are innocent, just like yours and mine and their vulnerability is very real. I believe that we as individuals, the rail industry and society all have a responsibility to help young people reach their potential.”

You can follow Andy’s progress in the race to beat child neglect and poverty by visiting his fundraising page at www.advance-trs.com contacting him directly on 01483 361 061 or donate to the cause at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AndyRidout

“Together we can put an end to the exploitation of innocence.”

Managing Director of Advance-TRS, Andy Ridout has so far raised almost £7,000 in sponsorship for his triathlon challenge.

Andy is taking on the 226km Horseman Ironman in aid of charity Railway Children next year.

Andy said: “I have been overwhelmed with the support. It took a while to get going but friends, candidates and clients have been very generous.

“I just want to thank everyone and ask anyone that knows me to join in and grab a space on my cycle jersey or donate what they can to help me reach my target.”

Andy, who has raised £6,999.18 to date, is trying to reach £10,000, with all proceeds going to Railway Children – a charity which helps protect and support homeless children around the world.

You can monitor Andy’s fundraising effort Facebook or visit Virgin Money Giving to donate.

Andy Ridout, Managing Director of Advance-TRS, has begun his training to compete in the Horseman Xtreme Triathlon in Dartmoor next September – all because of a celebration.

Andy has previously competed in the London Marathon and the Barcelona Triathlon. Says Ridout, 40, ‘My team and I were celebrating our 100th placement – we started this business just over a year ago.’ From a standing start in 2010 the new company, Advance–TRS, now supplies top quality professionals across the railway industry. ‘We were talking about growing the business and feeling pretty confident about it,’ says Andy, ‘I found myself thinking out loud about a parallel physical challenge to sit alongside expanding the company.’

The idea of the Horseman Xtreme had come to him some time ago. The race starts by jumping into the icy waters, competitors then swim 2.4 miles to the start of the cycle race, enduring 112 miles of harsh gradients. After that comes a gruelling 26.2-mile multi terrain run.

Through taking part Ridout plans to raise £10,000 for a charity very close to his heart, the Railway Children.

Andy commented, ‘In India 11 million children live on the streets and in the UK 100,000 run away from home every year, often as a result of sexual abuse, neglect and violence. As a father of three, I find this both shocking and distressing and am committed to generating as much money and awareness as physically possible to help the situation. After all, what if these were my children?’ Over the coming twelve months Andy plans to visit children in the UK and India who will hopefully benefit from his campaign.

The Horseman Xtreme is thought to be one of the toughest challenges yet devised. Already Andy is hard at work building up a core base of stamina and muscle ahead of distance endurance training next year.

‘I run to work l daily routine is a 6K cycle, 5K swim and 7K run to work.’ He commented. I did the London Marathon and really enjoyed it. That’s what drew me to triathlons. Barcelona was great but Dartmoor will be a totally different experience. At first I put the idea to the back of my mind but it shaped up as a challenge and I knew I had to do it.’

Says Paul Merton, Operations Director at Advance–TRS, ‘Anyone who knows Andy understands that he is not one to shy away from a challenge. When he sets himself a target it will be completed. £10,000 is a lot of money, but if anyone can do it, it will be Andy Ridout, I’m confident.’

To launch the fundraising campaign Ridout has been asked to speak at 2012’s Dinner at the Roundhouse on the 11th October and is currently auctioning logo advertising space across his running vest and cycle jersey – see above* To join the fun and support the cause you can secure your company logo space by contacting Andy directly on 01483 361061 or ar@advance-trs.com. Alternatively, simply donate at Andy’s Virgin Money Giving page hundred candidates in employment throughout the UK and internationally.

The niche railway recruitment consultancy is now among the fastest growing suppliers to the majority of the rail industry’s key players.

‘Like’ Advance TRS on Facebook to follow Andy’s fundraising progress.