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.

This weeks latest news in the Rail Industry:

RailStaff Awards: A conduit for change

When Lee Woolcott-Ellis was recognised at the 2018 RailStaff Awards, it launched a roller coaster ride that he’s yet to get off.  Read more…

Young Rail Professionals: A call to action

Before joining the rail group, I had the privilege of moving between different sectors – most recently higher education. Read more…

Railway Children to reconquer Kilimanjaro

Think back to 2009 and you might remember watching a group of celebrities take on the challenge of reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day.  Read more…

Military is good for rail

Stewart Thorpe finds out why so many service leavers turn to and succeed in the industry. Read more…

The value of community rail

A new report from the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) has evaluated the benefits of the community rail movement to individuals, local areas and society. Read more…


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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.”

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.