Avanti West Coast in the community

Every connection counts

Each of our stations is a gateway to a community. So, we get to know the people who we matter to most. By listening, we’ve found that there are key issues where we can help out, and where possible – will get right behind.

Community Champions

When we’re working out how to help a community, we start by listening. That’s why every one of our stations has a passionate Community Champion who works with our local charities, community groups and pop-up businesses to figure out how we can support. They also discover ways to inspire colleagues to bring charity and community to life, such as fundraising and awareness events at the station.

Customer & Communities Investment Scheme

Apply for a share of £2.2million and bring your community project to life.

The Customer and Communities Investment Scheme is in place to support ideas that benefits our stations and communities across the regions we serve which address regeneration challenges and tackle social needs. This is a chance for people along our route to apply for a share of the fund which, in its first year, is estimated to total £2.2million (subject to terms and approvals).

All schemes should be submitted no later than 15 November 2020 at 23:59.

Full details on how it works, scheme eligibility and application guidance can be found here 

CCIS Application Form


Helping out

On the lookout for local? So are we. We're working closely with communities up and down the line to support local projects and events with complimentary advertising space. We're part of your community and your part of ours.
Find out more:

Apply to advertise

If you are a registered charity and want to collect at one of our stations, please take a look here:

Apply to collect

If you need our support for a charity or community event, or need to travel on our services to receive specialist medical treatment, please apply here:

Charity and community support

Our stations get some of the busiest footfall for any public space with people from all over the country heading from A to B (and often back to A again). If you’re a micro-business looking for a platform to promote your product, please apply to pop up at one of our stations:

Apply to pop up

Community Rail

Community Rail Network

Community Rail Network

Community Rail Network is dedicated to supporting community-based groups and partnerships that connect their community with their railway and deliver social benefit. Across Britain, over 70 community rail partnerships, plus hundreds of station friends and other groups and social enterprises, make up the growing community rail movement. Members deliver a range of activities that bring people together and help communities get the most from their railways, as well as helping our railways to thrive. These activities range from community gardening and arts projects on stations, to helping people with disabilities use rail, advising train operators meet local needs - all carrying significant social and economic value.

Community Rail Network provides support, advice and information to the community rail movement through membership services and events. We share good practice and connect those working in community rail, while bringing together insights from the wider voluntary sector, rail industry and beyond. We represent and advocate for community rail, providing a link between our members and national and devolved governments, partners and industry, promoting understanding of their contribution and how this can be nurtured. We also aim to raise awareness about community rail, explaining its importance.

Find out more about Community Rail Network here

Community Rail Partnerships

As a train company, it’s our job to connect communities with each other and we’re big fans of Community Rail Partnerships. Community Rail Partnerships are the backbone of the community rail movement, bringing together local groups and partners along railway lines to work with the industry, and deliver a range of community engagement and promotional activities.

We support 21 Community Rail Partnerships across the West Coast Main Line:

Our Partnerships

Action for Children

action for children logo

Avanti West Coast, as part of FirstGroup, is working with Action for Children to support young people on their journey to better mental health.

FirstGroup’s partnership with Action for Children has already been valued at an incredible £2million in cash, fundraising and the commercial value of gifts in kind. Action for Children benefits from advertising space across our UK transport network and funding for mental health projects, enabling the delivery of essential specialist support to young people who desperately need help.

From now until 2021, Action for Children will be the main beneficiary of FirstGroup’s corporate responsibility activities across our UK businesses: First Bus, Great Western Railway, Hull Trains, South Western Railway and TransPennine Express.

Action for Children protects and supports children and young people, providing practical and emotional care and support, ensuring their voices are heard, and campaigning to bring lasting improvements to their lives. Last year, Action for Children helped more than 387,000 children and families across the UK. 

Find out more about Action for Children here.

Railway Children 

railway children charity logo

Railway Children fight for vulnerable children who live alone at risk on the streets, where they suffer abuse and exploitation. In the UK, society often denies their existence, and in other countries the problem is so prevalent that it has become ‘normal’. 

They run away or are forced to leave homes 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. Every day we fight to change their story. 

Railway Children race to reach children as soon as they arrive on the streets and intervene before an abuser can. Our pioneering work enables us to get to street children before the streets get to them.

Find out more about railway children here.


We work closely with the Samaritans and the wider rail industry to reduce suicide on the railways and to support everyone affected by them. Every suicide leaves a lasting effect on family and friends, as well as rail staff, commuters and the wider community. 

We support all our frontline people to attend a suicide prevention course which provides training, skills and confidence to approach someone in need, encourage them to talk, and lead them to a place of safety. The course also teaches some of the listening skills that underpin Samaritans services, which are as relevant both at home as they are at work.

Find out more about Samaritans here.


Station Volunteering

What is Station Volunteering?

Our stations are at the heart of the community, and by volunteering your time at one can help make a difference to everyone who uses it.

Station volunteers roll up their sleeves and provide support at their local station. From keeping an eye out for unusual activity and reporting faults, to gardening and working with pop-ups and charities all of which are supported by the Station Management team.

Why become a station volunteer?

Train stations are unique to each of the communities they serve. By volunteering your time you’ll get to give something back to your community, meet new people, form friendships, tackle loneliness, share and learn new skills and make a difference.

If you become a volunteer, you’ll be warmly welcomed into the Avanti West Coast family. You’ll receive a complimentary car parking or cycle space every time you volunteer, and we’ll make sure you’re on the guest list to attend a number of events throughout the year.

What can I do?

Work will vary from station to station and before any work can start it must be agreed in advance with the Station Management team.  Often you could be:

  • Planting and gardening
  • Litter-picking
  • Reporting signs of trespass or vandalism
  • Providing support for special events or projects
  • Acting as ambassadors on the platform to provide passengers with information

Station volunteers do not carry out repairs to structural elements of buildings or station fixtures, lighting, electrical fixtures, gas, water, or conduct any sort of work on the tracks.

How can I get involved?

We welcome station volunteers at stations that we manage across the West Coast Main Line.

To register your interest you can contact us at community@avantiwestcoast.co.uk and our Community Manager will be in touch.

Community hub image of girl planting plants in the garden