Today marks the launch of an exciting new charity partnership between Virgin Trains on the west coast and Rethink Mental Illness. The partnership aims to raise awareness of issues relating to mental health and offer support to Virgin Trains employees and local communities across the UK.

Virgin Trains colleagues will be raising money throughout the year with a programme of fundraising activities designed to work with local communities in and around its stations – reaching millions of customers across the network. The partnership will see Rethink Mental Illness in England, alongside partner charities Hafal in Wales and Support in Mind Scotland collaborate with Virgin Trains’ Community Champions to organise local initiatives and campaigns.

Virgin Trains on the west coast will be marking the launch of its new partnership with Rethink Mental Illness on May 4th with a ‘May the 4th be with you’ Star Wars dress-up fundraising day. The partnership will also have a big focus on the mental wellbeing of Virgin Trains’ employees - raising awareness of the importance of good mental health in and outside of the workplace. This will include training opportunities, such as online modules and special events.

Rethink Mental Illness are really excited to be leading on this new partnership, working with our partner charities, Hafal in Wales and Support in Mind Scotland

Virgin Trains has long placed mental health at the centre of its responsible business agenda, the announcement of the partnership marks the handing over of the baton from previous partner the Mental Health Foundation. The Mental Health Foundation was instrumental in helping Virgin Trains lift the lid on mental health and raise awareness amongst both colleagues and customers across its network. 

Patrick McGrath Executive Director of Human Resources at Virgin Trains on the west coast said: “We’re so proud of what we’ve achieved with the Mental Health Foundation.

"Together we raised awareness within our business and among the communities we serve about an issue that affects so many people’s lives. But it doesn’t stop there, mental health continues to be a big focus for us and we’re excited to be partnering with Rethink Mental Illness for the next stage of a very important journey.”

Emma Malcolm, Associate Director for Fundraising and Supporter Engagement at Rethink Mental Illness said: “It’s great to see Virgin Trains West Coast continuing to put mental health centre stage across the business, and Rethink Mental Illness are really excited to be leading on this new partnership, working with our partner charities, Hafal in Wales and Support in Mind Scotland.

"Throughout the next year, we are looking forward to developing a range of fundraising activities, alongside new training and support for staff that will continue to raise awareness of mental health problems, and embed understanding, ensuring that everyone has the tools to hand to support their mental wellbeing both at work and in our communities.”