Showcase2018-12-07T09:24:13+00:00

Corporate Responsibility award entry for the “[4721]” category

http://www.xc-hub.co.uk/launch%20vid.htm

EXECUTIVE OVERVIEW

 

CrossCountry’s industry-leading Cub Scout Personal Safety Project has succeeded in educating Cub Scouts and other young people around the importance of rail safety. We believe that this project is deserving of a Peer Award for the following reasons:

 

  • The project was developed in response to independent research, which showed that the number of trespassing incidents on the railways in 2016 had reached a ten-year high, with 8,265 incidents recorded (an 11% increase on the previous year). Our aim was therefore to launch an educational programme that would help us reduce levels of youth crime and safety incidents around the railways.
  • To help us achieve our objectives, we chose to partner with The Scout Association (TSA). Working in partnership with TSA and numerous other stakeholders, we delivered a project which enables Cub Scouts to work towards their Personal Safety Activity Badge, visit their local railway stations and carry out station improvement projects. Engagement has been extremely high, with +26.5k activity packs downloaded and +14k safety badges awarded to date.
  • With a host of celebrity endorsements, this project has created enthusiastic young rail ambassadors and contributed to a significant reduction in children trespassing on the railways. This is evidenced by industry data which already shows that, between 24th July and 8th September, the number of trespass minutes recorded fell YOY by 8% – from 4,811 (2016) to 4,417 (2017).
  • This groundbreaking initiative is now regarded as the key community engagement project for trespassing within the rail industry. The project has been recognised in TSA’s Better Together Awards, where it won the Best Partnership Launch category, and has also been shortlisted in the Better Society Awards – Partnership with a National Charity (Children’s) category (final result pending).

 

MAIN ENTRY

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Within this entry, we demonstrate how CrossCountry has worked effectively in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders to successfully deliver the industry-leading Cub Scout Personal Safety Project, which educates Cub Scouts and other young people around the importance of rail safety.

 

Business context

 

This project aligns with our Sustainability Strategy that allows us to engage with the communities we serve in a more mutually-beneficial way, while ensuring a continued focus on workplace satisfaction and wellbeing. As an advocate for responsible leadership, we aim to create resilient communities along our network, a thriving workplace and a sustainable inclusive future for those around us.

 

Research

 

Last year, independent research showed that the number of trespassing incidents on the railways in 2016 had reached a ten-year high, with 8,265 incidents recorded (an 11% increase on the previous year). Moreover, the British Transport Police (BTP) reported that 555 children were caught trespassing close to rail tracks in 2016. This was more prevalent in the summer months, especially during the school holidays. Indeed, between 24th July and 8th September 2016, the BTP reported a record high of 4,811 trespass minutes. The severity of this problem had led to significant public support for projects addressing crime and antisocial behaviour prevention alongside integrated transport, as evidenced by our recent online survey of more than 750 CrossCountry customers.

 

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

 

We recognised that young people have the loudest voices and the largest social networks. Our aim was therefore to harness this potential in order to develop a peer-to-peer educational programme that would meet the following key objectives:

 

1) Reduce levels of youth crime and safety incidents on or around the railways

2) Increase engagement of young people with the railways

3) Increase societal awareness of the consequences of trespassing.

 

Our target was to educate 50k young people on rail safety over a two-year period and we are well on our way to achieving this goal as outlined in the outcomes and impacts section below.

 

AN INNOVATIVE STRATEGY

 

Our strategy for achieving the project’s key objectives was to partner with the largest inclusive youth movement in the country – The Scout Association (TSA). TSA delivers Scouting to 457k young boys and girls, including those in over 400 areas of deprivation around the UK. In partnership with TSA, CrossCountry has created and delivered the Cub Scout Personal Safety Project, which comprises three unique elements:

 

1)      The Cub Scout Personal Safety Badge – We created the new CrossCountry sponsored badge for Cub Scouts to work towards, through completion of a fun but educational activity pack, under the guidance of Scout Leaders who were supported by our Leader’s safety guide.

2)      Visits to local railway stations – Scout Leaders can use our online directory to contact their local train operating company (TOC) or Community Rail Partnership (CRP) to arrange a visit to their local railway station. Scouts receive behind the scenes tours and safety presentations, plus the opportunity to put their learning into practice.

3)      Station improvement projects/adoption – Scout packs can be invited to carry out station improvement projects in partnership with their CRP, including the creation of artworks, garden displays and wildlife habitats. Where possible, they can even adopt their local railway station.

 

KEY CHALLENGE

 

To ensure engagement with the project, we needed to consider that the rail industry is particularly diverse, comprising numerous disparate organisations. This is compounded by the franchising model, which creates a highly competitive relationship between TOCs. We knew it would therefore be challenging for us, not only to gain support from other industry organisations, but also to collaborate effectively with them on this CrossCountry sponsored programme. However, we held a series of face-to-face meetings with stakeholders over a three-month period and the response was extremely positive, with huge support for the project from numerous industry organisations as evidenced below.

 

EFFECTIVE PARTNERSHIP WORKING

 

To successfully execute our strategy, we worked effectively in partnership with TSA and the other stakeholder organisations from across the industry: Network Rail, the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), Rail Delivery Group (RDG), Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP), Department for Transport (DfT), BTP, Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), other TOCs and the wider Arriva group.

 

Stakeholder contributions

 

All aspects of the project have been managed and/or facilitated by CrossCountry but all stakeholders have worked together to ensure the successful delivery of the various elements. As an example, all provided input into the development of the Scout badge, activity pack and Leader’s safety guide via a consultation panel that comprised CrossCountry, TSA and the RSSB. In addition, they made a significant contribution to the successful launch event at Birmingham New Street station, which was coordinated by CrossCountry and facilitated by Network Rail and the BTP.

 

Network Rail oversaw the event and were responsible for ensuring the enjoyment of all attendees, while minimising the impact on the daily running of the station. They also delivered a rail safety presentation and hosted a behind the scenes tour. The BTP worked with Network Rail to ensure the safety of attendees, not only during the launch event, but also during the many other station visits. In addition, the BTP have helped CrossCountry and TSA promote the project at various community-focused events around the country, including TSA’s Leaders Reunion for 4k Scout Leaders at their headquarters in Essex.

 

ACoRP and the individual CRPs have worked with CrossCountry, TSA and Network Rail to help Scouts carry out the various station improvement projects and station adoption programmes. Going forward, the BTP continue to help Scout packs access the funds required for these activities. The future of the badge and its wider use is intended for cross-industry discussions to support anti-trespass, vandalism groups and other workstreams for railway safety.

 

Resourcing and reporting

 

All stakeholders have allocated considerable resource to the project, indeed, CrossCountry has invested around 140 staff hours into the project and BTP have provided 35 hours of support. In addition, CrossCountry and a number of the other stakeholders are encouraging their employees to provide voluntary support, which serves as an efficient resource for the project, while helping to improve employees’ own health and wellbeing. In terms of reporting, we have a six-monthly cycle in place with TSA regarding the number of badges collected, and details of the project are included in the annual Community Impact Report submitted to the DfT.

 

IMPLEMENTATION AND DELIVERY

 

At the outset, we delivered face-to-face presentations to stakeholder organisations and related bodies in order to achieve buy-in and support for the project. Working in partnership with TSA, we commenced the project with our sponsorship of the badge in February 2017, and a bespoke activity badge and certificate were then created. Subsequently, we formed the afore-mentioned consultation panel with TSA and the RSSB, to develop the Cub Scout Personal Safety Badge Activity Pack and a Leader’s safety guide.

 

Having produced the various assets, we launched the badge and the wider project through an integrated and creative communications campaign, using a broad range of online and offline marketing activities and channels, including:

 

  • Branded train – The project was launched in July 2017 with a CrossCountry/Scout badge emblem branded train which ran the length of our network, accompanied by branded plaques and flags at various stations
  • Launch video – We produced a launch video, featuring Cub Scouts visiting Birmingham New Street station and interviews with stakeholder representatives, which has been viewed over 3.8m times Launch video
  • CrossCountry’s Community Hub microsite – From an online perspective, we launched a Scouts page on the microsite, which has received more than 34k views (to 11/12/17) XC Community Hub Scouts page
  • Stakeholder communications – The project was also promoted by the wider Arriva group and all the various stakeholders through their communications channels, e.g. The Scout Association Fundraising website
  • Celebrity endorsements – The project has been supported and promoted by a number of high profile celebrities, including Simon Munn, Pete Waterman, Bear Grylls, Steve Backshall, Ed Stafford, Ellie Simmonds OBE, Anita Rani, Tim Peake, Helen Glover, Megan Hine, Julia Bradbury and Dwayne Fields
  • PR coverage – The launch event with paralympian Simon Munn received +£600k worth of positive media coverage, including features on seven different news channels, e.g. ITV Central News website and BBC News website
  • Internal communications – We regularly promoted the project internally via our company magazines (XC Life and In Brief) and TV screens within our staff rooms.

 

The effectiveness of these communications meant that, of those online survey respondents who had heard of one or more of our CSR projects, the largest number had heard of the Cub Scout Personal Safety Project.

 

MEASURED OUTCOMES AND IMPACTS

 

CrossCountry’s budget for the project was £31k in Year 1 and an estimated £40k in Year 2. During the first six months of Year 1, the campaign generated £688k worth of positive media coverage. The practicability of this project is evidenced by the broad range of benefits delivered for CrossCountry, our passengers, lineside communities and the wider rail industry, including:

 

  • Increase in safety – This group of young people are now able to travel safely and responsibly on the railways, as evidenced by a raft of positive Cub Scout testimonials (e.g. see Appendix). In addition, we have already seen a reduction in trespassing. This is evidenced by data from the BTP which shows that, during the period 24th July to 8th September, the number of trespass minutes recorded fell YOY by 8% – from 4,811 (2016) to 4,417 (2017).
  • Increase in youth engagement – Since July 2017, the launch film has been viewed over 3.8m times and the Scouts page on CrossCountry’s Community Hub microsite received more than 34k views (to 11/12/17). Furthermore, there have been +26.5k downloads of the activity pack and +14k badges awarded, which shows the high level of buy-in from the Scouting community, and also means that we are well on our way to achieving our target of educating 50k young people on rail safety.
  • Increase in community engagement – Our afore-mentioned online survey showed that 95% of respondents perceived this CrossCountry sponsored project to be deserving of support. These high levels of community engagement with the project are supported by a number of positive customer testimonials, including: “It has the potential to reach the widest audience of young people and ability to educate them in the safe use of the railway”.
  • Creation of young rail ambassadors – We now have a highly influential group of young rail ambassadors, who are educating their peers regarding rail safety and responsible travel. They are also able to use rail travel with greater confidence, thus expanding their life experiences and opportunities. This meets CrossCountry’s and TSA’s shared ambition ‘to make a positive difference in young people’s lives’ and our aim ‘to increase mobility, helping them access new opportunities, meet new people and learn new skills’ (see Appendix).
  • Improvements in station environment – The station improvement and adoption programmes have greatly enhanced the lineside environments, with Scouts participating in a wide range of developments. Consequently, these improved environments have helped to enhance the general health and wellbeing of those communities living (and rail employees working) alongside the railways.
  • Enhancement of business reputation – This project has helped raise awareness of CrossCountry as a community conscious business and has enhanced its reputation as a champion of young people, as evidenced by Matt Hyde, Chief Executive of The Scout Association: “Given CrossCountry’s energy to continue in finding new and innovative ways to positively engage young people, I am positive this success will continue” (see Appendix).
  • Reduction in costs for the industry – The improvements in safety will inevitably lead to resource savings for rail industry organisations, as safety-related incidents are costly to resolve, both in terms of the investment of financial and human resources.

 

These outcomes and impacts are further evidenced by a raft of positive testimonials from key stakeholder representatives (see Appendix).

 

CONCLUSIONS

 

Future developments

 

Further to our achievements thus far, we are committed to moving forward with the project in partnership with the other stakeholders. During February half-term, we launched a viral campaign based around the new ‘5 Steps to Rail Safety’ film 5 Steps to Rail Safety film, which has been fully funded by TSA and promoted by our project stakeholders and celebrity ambassadors.

 

This project’s approach is transferable to other issues and scenarios, and will ensure long-term sustainability within the rail industry. As an example, for launch in September this year, we are extending the scope of the activity pack to cover site safety. This will coincide with the expansion of the rail network for the HS2 construction project and will raise awareness of the dangers associated with these works.

 

Inspiring others

 

This groundbreaking initiative is now regarded as the key community engagement project for trespassing within the rail industry. Through their involvement in the project, stakeholder organisations have been inspired to further develop their roles in helping to engage young people with the railways. Indeed, Network Rail is now working directly with the Scouts on station adoption programmes, for the benefit of the rail environment and lineside communities, and to facilitate this, the BTP are continuing to help Scout packs access the additional funds required. The RDG have also expressed an interest in sponsoring the badge and delivering the project as part of their ‘Britain Runs on Rail’ campaign.

 

For the first time, this innovative project has shown how organisations can work effectively in partnership to address genuine challenges faced by the rail industry and the communities around the network. The success of this collaborative approach is recognised by Nick Jordan, Community Safety Manager LNW, Network Rail who states: “This was a great example of partnership working, not only between CrossCountry and Network Rail, but between different departments in each organisation.” He goes on to acknowledge how this project has inspired industry organisations to “work together more often to produce work that makes a real difference to communities around the rail network.”

 

We believe that this project can inspire organisations within other industry sectors to engage successfully with young people in order to achieve positive outcomes. Having identified a growing safety issue with young people trespassing on the railways, we committed to developing a peer-to-peer educational programme that would educate 50k young people on rail safety over a two-year period. Our innovative approach to achieving this was to partner with the largest inclusive youth movement in the country (The Scout Association) and create a new badge with learning resources, supported by station visits and improvement projects. With high levels of engagement and a clear reduction in trespassing incidents, this project has proven to be extremely successful and provides a rigorously tried and tested approach for other organisations to follow.

 

External recognition

 

The project’s significance is evidenced through a host of positive testimonials from key stakeholder representatives (see Appendix). It has also been recognised in TSA’s Better Together Awards, where the project won the Best Partnership Launch category and CrossCountry’s Project Manager achieved Runner-Up in the Outstanding Personal Contribution Award category. In addition, the project has been shortlisted in the Better Society Awards – Partnership with a National Charity (Children’s) category – with the final result due to be announced in May.

 

APPENDIX

 

Positive testimonials

 

Rachel Ruixi-Chen, Cub Scout:

“The new station [Birmingham New Street] is really cool – and so was the train! But what I learned was it’s not a place to play. They are real tracks, with real trains and could be really dangerous.”

 

Matt Hyde, Chief Executive, The Scout Association:

“Scouting, like CrossCountry, is about connecting people. The success of both our organisations depends on close engagement with local communities and innovative partnerships such as this.  We also have a shared ambition to make a positive difference in young people’s lives. We aim to increase mobility, helping them access new opportunities, meet new people and learn new skills. Together, we aim to foster a real sense of pride and responsibility towards our local areas, whether that’s a Scout Group adopting a train station or teaching Scouts how to stay safe near railways.  We both believe in the power of expanding horizons, both socially and geographically, supporting people on their journeys across the UK, and through life. To date we have made an amazing start, with the CrossCountry Personal Safety Badge being the most requested badge. Given CrossCountry’s energy to continue in finding new and innovative ways to positively engage young people, I am positive this success will continue”.

 

Jess Moore, Partnership Event Project Manager, The Scout Association:

“We were delighted that the team from CrossCountry Trains joined us for our Better Together event and also that they were very worthy winners of the Best Partner Event category and extend our huge congratulations.  They are providing us with fantastic opportunities for young people to have more fun and develop more skills for life whilst influencing and helping to improve lives of over 450,000 young people.  We are immensely proud to be working with Chris and the team and following a successful launch look forward to educating young people at rail safety for many years to come.”

 

Simon Munn, Paralympian, Wheelchair Basketball:

“Railways can be a dangerous place and not a playground. We’re all responsible for keeping young people and those who live or work near the railway safe, so we must do all we can to raise awareness of how to stay safe on the railway. We must work harder to keep young people safe by making them aware of the dangers that exist. Taking a short cut or messing around on the tracks can result in serious life-changing injuries or even death.”

 

Robin Smith, Assistant Chief Constable, British Transport Police:

“Keeping young people safe is a priority for us and we are doing everything we can to prevent them from coming to harm on the railway, including patrolling trespass hotspots and going into schools to warn of the dangers. However, we cannot tackle this issue alone and therefore we are fully supportive of CrossCountry, with this unique initiative. We hope the Personal Safety Badge will help youngsters spread this important safety message within their communities and stop children risking their lives on the tracks.”

 

Charlotte Vitty, Chief Executive, British Transport Police Authority:

“Thanks for taking the time to give me a whistle stop tour of your work so far on the Crosscountry Scouts badge, and the engagement you are doing with young people on rail safety and awareness. It sounds like an incredibly exciting opportunity for us to help and support this excellent idea, and I would like to explore how as an Authority we can own the sponsorship of this. I think we should look to maximise any other funding pots for this, and I would be keen to write a ‘reference’ of sorts for each small scouting group to use to support any funding application to match your own funds you are already dedicating. Like I mentioned, Sadiq Khan has launched a communities fund recently for groups to apply to, and we can link this in very neatly to his vision for rail and policing over the next 3 years.”

 

Priti Patel, Head of Route Safety, Health & Environment, Network Rail:

“It was great to see so many cubs and scouts so enthusiastic about rail safety. We fully support this initiative to spread vital rail safety messages in such an engaging and meaningful way.”

 

Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Transport:

“The Scout Association is a fantastic organisation with a strong membership of more than 400,000 girls and boys across the UK. I am immensely proud of the efforts of the rail industry, and CrossCountry in particular, in working with the Scouts on raising awareness of safety on our railways. This is a vital message for young people and one that can, ultimately, save lives. I hope every scout can take the opportunity to take their Personal Safety badge.”

[pdf-embedder url=”https://thepeerawards.com/wp-content/uploads/formidable/198/TPA-Educating-the-Community-CrossCountry-Supporting-Entry-Doc.pdf”]

MEASURED OUTCOMES AND IMPACTS

 

CrossCountry’s budget for the project was £31k in Year 1 and an estimated £40k in Year 2. During the first six months of Year 1, the campaign generated £688k worth of positive media coverage. The practicability of this project is evidenced by the broad range of benefits delivered for CrossCountry, our passengers, lineside communities and the wider rail industry, including:

 

  • Increase in safety – This group of young people are now able to travel safely and responsibly on the railways, as evidenced by a raft of positive Cub Scout testimonials (e.g. see Appendix). In addition, we have already seen a reduction in trespassing. This is evidenced by data from the BTP which shows that, during the period 24th July to 8th September, the number of trespass minutes recorded fell YOY by 8% – from 4,811 (2016) to 4,417 (2017).
  • Increase in youth engagement – Since July 2017, the launch film has been viewed over 3.8m times and the Scouts page on CrossCountry’s Community Hub microsite received more than 34k views (to 11/12/17). Furthermore, there have been +26.5k downloads of the activity pack and +14k badges awarded, which shows the high level of buy-in from the Scouting community, and also means that we are well on our way to achieving our target of educating 50k young people on rail safety.
  • Increase in community engagement – Our afore-mentioned online survey showed that 95% of respondents perceived this CrossCountry sponsored project to be deserving of support. These high levels of community engagement with the project are supported by a number of positive customer testimonials, including: “It has the potential to reach the widest audience of young people and ability to educate them in the safe use of the railway”.
  • Creation of young rail ambassadors – We now have a highly influential group of young rail ambassadors, who are educating their peers regarding rail safety and responsible travel. They are also able to use rail travel with greater confidence, thus expanding their life experiences and opportunities. This meets CrossCountry’s and TSA’s shared ambition ‘to make a positive difference in young people’s lives’ and our aim ‘to increase mobility, helping them access new opportunities, meet new people and learn new skills’ (see Appendix).
  • Improvements in station environment – The station improvement and adoption programmes have greatly enhanced the lineside environments, with Scouts participating in a wide range of developments. Consequently, these improved environments have helped to enhance the general health and wellbeing of those communities living (and rail employees working) alongside the railways.
  • Enhancement of business reputation – This project has helped raise awareness of CrossCountry as a community conscious business and has enhanced its reputation as a champion of young people, as evidenced by Matt Hyde, Chief Executive of The Scout Association: “Given CrossCountry’s energy to continue in finding new and innovative ways to positively engage young people, I am positive this success will continue” (see Appendix).
  • Reduction in costs for the industry – The improvements in safety will inevitably lead to resource savings for rail industry organisations, as safety-related incidents are costly to resolve, both in terms of the investment of financial and human resources.

 

POSITIVE TESTIMONIALS

 

These outcomes and impacts are further evidenced by a host of positive testimonials from key stakeholder representatives, including:

 

Rachel Ruixi-Chen, Cub Scout:

“The new station [Birmingham New Street] is really cool – and so was the train! But what I learned was it’s not a place to play. They are real tracks, with real trains and could be really dangerous.”

 

Matt Hyde, Chief Executive, The Scout Association:

“Scouting, like CrossCountry, is about connecting people. The success of both our organisations depends on close engagement with local communities and innovative partnerships such as this.  We also have a shared ambition to make a positive difference in young people’s lives. We aim to increase mobility, helping them access new opportunities, meet new people and learn new skills. Together, we aim to foster a real sense of pride and responsibility towards our local areas, whether that’s a Scout Group adopting a train station or teaching Scouts how to stay safe near railways.  We both believe in the power of expanding horizons, both socially and geographically, supporting people on their journeys across the UK, and through life. To date we have made an amazing start, with the CrossCountry Personal Safety Badge being the most requested badge. Given CrossCountry’s energy to continue in finding new and innovative ways to positively engage young people, I am positive this success will continue”.

 

Jess Moore, Partnership Event Project Manager, The Scout Association:

“We were delighted that the team from CrossCountry Trains joined us for our Better Together event and also that they were very worthy winners of the Best Partner Event category and extend our huge congratulations.  They are providing us with fantastic opportunities for young people to have more fun and develop more skills for life whilst influencing and helping to improve lives of over 450,000 young people.  We are immensely proud to be working with Chris and the team and following a successful launch look forward to educating young people at rail safety for many years to come.”

 

Nick Jordan, Community Safety Manager LNW, Network Rail:

“This was a great example of partnership working, not only between CrossCountry and Network Rail, but between different departments in each organisation. We can work together more often to produce work that makes a real difference to communities around the rail network. It’s a project I am very proud to have been part of.”

 

Simon Munn, Paralympian, Wheelchair Basketball:

“Railways can be a dangerous place and not a playground. We’re all responsible for keeping young people and those who live or work near the railway safe, so we must do all we can to raise awareness of how to stay safe on the railway. We must work harder to keep young people safe by making them aware of the dangers that exist. Taking a short cut or messing around on the tracks can result in serious life-changing injuries or even death.”

 

Robin Smith, Assistant Chief Constable, British Transport Police:

“Keeping young people safe is a priority for us and we are doing everything we can to prevent them from coming to harm on the railway, including patrolling trespass hotspots and going into schools to warn of the dangers. However, we cannot tackle this issue alone and therefore we are fully supportive of CrossCountry, with this unique initiative. We hope the Personal Safety Badge will help youngsters spread this important safety message within their communities and stop children risking their lives on the tracks.”

 

Charlotte Vitty, Chief Executive, British Transport Police Authority:

“Thanks for taking the time to give me a whistle stop tour of your work so far on the Crosscountry Scouts badge, and the engagement you are doing with young people on rail safety and awareness. It sounds like an incredibly exciting opportunity for us to help and support this excellent idea, and I would like to explore how as an Authority we can own the sponsorship of this. I think we should look to maximise any other funding pots for this, and I would be keen to write a ‘reference’ of sorts for each small scouting group to use to support any funding application to match your own funds you are already dedicating. Like I mentioned, Sadiq Khan has launched a communities fund recently for groups to apply to, and we can link this in very neatly to his vision for rail and policing over the next 3 years.”

 

Priti Patel, Head of Route Safety, Health & Environment, Network Rail:

“It was great to see so many cubs and scouts so enthusiastic about rail safety. We fully support this initiative to spread vital rail safety messages in such an engaging and meaningful way.”

 

Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Transport:

“The Scout Association is a fantastic organisation with a strong membership of more than 400,000 girls and boys across the UK. I am immensely proud of the efforts of the rail industry, and CrossCountry in particular, in working with the Scouts on raising awareness of safety on our railways. This is a vital message for young people and one that can, ultimately, save lives. I hope every scout can take the opportunity to take their Personal Safety badge.”

AN INNOVATIVE STRATEGY

 

Our strategy for achieving the project’s key objectives was to partner with the largest inclusive youth movement in the country – The Scout Association (TSA). TSA delivers Scouting to 457k young boys and girls, including those in over 400 areas of deprivation around the UK. In partnership with TSA, CrossCountry has created and delivered the Cub Scout Personal Safety Project, which comprises three unique elements:

 

1)      The Cub Scout Personal Safety Badge – We created the new CrossCountry sponsored badge for Cub Scouts to work towards, through completion of a fun but educational activity pack, under the guidance of Scout Leaders who were supported by our Leader’s safety guide.

2)      Visits to local railway stations – Scout Leaders can use our online directory to contact their local train operating company (TOC) or Community Rail Partnership (CRP) to arrange a visit to their local railway station. Scouts receive behind the scenes tours and safety presentations, plus the opportunity to put their learning into practice.

3)      Station improvement projects/adoption – Scout packs can be invited to carry out station improvement projects in partnership with their CRP, including the creation of artworks, garden displays and wildlife habitats. Where possible, they can even adopt their local railway station.

 

UNPRECEDENTED COLLABORATION

 

To ensure engagement with the project, we needed to consider that the rail industry is particularly diverse, comprising numerous disparate organisations. This is compounded by the franchising model, which creates a highly competitive relationship between TOCs. We knew it would therefore be challenging for us, not only to gain support from other industry organisations, but also to collaborate effectively with them on this CrossCountry sponsored programme. However, we held a series of face-to-face meetings with stakeholders over a three-month period and the response was extremely positive, with huge support for the project from numerous industry organisations as evidenced below.

 

Throughout the project, we worked effectively in partnership with TSA and the other stakeholder organisations from across the industry: Network Rail, the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), Rail Delivery Group (RDG), Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP), Department for Transport (DfT), BTP, Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), other TOCs and the wider Arriva group.

 

For the first time, this innovative project has shown how organisations can work effectively in partnership to address genuine challenges faced by the rail industry and the communities around the network. The success of this collaborative approach is recognised by Nick Jordan, Community Safety Manager LNW, Network Rail who states: “This was a great example of partnership working, not only between CrossCountry and Network Rail, but between different departments in each organisation. We can work together more often to produce work that makes a real difference to communities around the rail network. It’s a project I am very proud to have been part of.”

 

CREATIVE LAUNCH CAMPAIGN

 

We launched the badge and the wider project through an integrated and creative communications campaign, using a broad range of online and offline marketing activities and channels, including:

 

  • Branded train – The project was launched in July 2017 with a CrossCountry/Scout badge emblem branded train which ran the length of our network, accompanied by branded plaques and flags at various stations
  • Launch video – We produced a launch video, featuring Cub Scouts visiting Birmingham New Street station and interviews with stakeholder representatives, which has been viewed over 3.8m times Launch video
  • CrossCountry’s Community Hub microsite – From an online perspective, we launched a Scouts page on the microsite, which has received more than 34k views (to 11/12/17) XC Community Hub Scouts page
  • Stakeholder communications – The project was also promoted by the wider Arriva group and all the various stakeholders through their communications channels, e.g. The Scout Association Fundraising website
  • Celebrity endorsements – The project has been supported and promoted by a number of high profile celebrities, including Simon Munn, Pete Waterman, Bear Grylls, Steve Backshall, Ed Stafford, Ellie Simmonds OBE, Anita Rani, Tim Peake, Helen Glover, Megan Hine, Julia Bradbury and Dwayne Fields
  • PR coverage – The launch event with paralympian Simon Munn received +£600k worth of positive media coverage, including features on seven different news channels, e.g. ITV Central News website and BBC News website
  • Internal communications – We regularly promoted the project internally via our company magazines (XC Life and In Brief) and TV screens within our staff rooms.

LEADING BY EXAMPLE

 

The positive impact of the project on CrossCountry is evidenced by a broad range of business benefits, including:

Increase in safety – This group of young people are now able to travel safely and responsibly on the railways, as evidenced by the positive Cub Scout testimonials and reduction in the BTP’s trespassing figures. These improvements in safety will inevitably lead to resource savings for CrossCountry and other rail industry organisations, as safety-related incidents are costly to resolve, both in terms of the investment of financial and human resources.

Increase in community engagement – Our afore-mentioned online survey showed that 95% of respondents perceived this CrossCountry sponsored project to be deserving of support. These high levels of engagement with the community are supported by a number of positive customer testimonials, including: “It has the potential to reach the widest audience of young people and ability to educate them in the safe use of the railway”.

Enhancement of business reputation – During the first six months of Year 1, the campaign generated £688k worth of positive media coverage. This project has helped raise awareness of CrossCountry as a community conscious business and has enhanced its reputation as a champion of young people, as evidenced by Matt Hyde, Chief Executive of The Scout Association: “Given CrossCountry’s energy to continue in finding new and innovative ways to positively engage young people, I am positive this success will continue”.

 

The passion and commitment of the CrossCountry team, and all the other stakeholders, have ensured the smooth running of the project, with no major issues or errors to learn from. However, with so many different stakeholders involved, it was often a challenge to ensure effective communication between all parties. This was exacerbated, at the outset, by a lack of leadership on the project within some of the stakeholder organisations. By allocating dedicated resource to the project, for example, Network Rail’s Community Safety Team, we were able to improve communications and ensure a more joined-up approach to the delivery of the project.

 

These benefits and learnings have helped inspire stakeholders to increase their involvement in the project and inspire fellow professionals to engage successfully with young people in order to achieve positive outcomes.

 

INSPIRING STAKEHOLDER ORGANISATIONS

 

This groundbreaking initiative is now regarded as the key community engagement project for trespassing within the rail industry. Through their involvement in the project, stakeholder organisations have been inspired to further develop their roles in helping to engage young people with the railways. Indeed, Network Rail is now working directly with the Scouts on station adoption programmes, for the benefit of the rail environment and lineside communities, and to facilitate this, the BTP are continuing to help Scout packs access the additional funds required. The RDG have also expressed an interest in sponsoring the badge and delivering the project as part of their ‘Britain Runs on Rail’ campaign.

 

The success of the project has encouraged industry organisations to take a more collaborative approach to other challenges faced by the rail industry and the communities around the network. This is recognised by Nick Jordan, Community Safety Manager LNW, Network Rail who states that this project has inspired industry organisations to “work together more often to produce work that makes a real difference to communities around the rail network.”

 

INSPIRING FELLOW PROFESSIONALS

 

We believe that this project can inspire organisations within other industry sectors to engage successfully with young people in order to achieve positive outcomes. Having identified a growing safety issue with young people trespassing on the railways, we committed to developing a peer-to-peer educational programme that would educate 50k young people on rail safety over a two-year period. Our innovative approach to achieving youth engagement here was to partner with the largest inclusive youth movement in the country – The Scout Association (TSA). TSA delivers Scouting to 457k young boys and girls, including those in over 400 areas of deprivation around the UK.

 

In partnership with TSA, we have created and delivered the Cub Scout Personal Safety Project, which effectively engages young people through three unique elements: 1) The Cub Scout Personal Safety Badge, 2) Visits to local railway stations and 3) Station improvement projects/adoption. With this engaging approach, we have created a highly influential group of young rail ambassadors, who are educating their peers regarding rail safety and responsible travel. They are also able to use rail travel with greater confidence, thus expanding their life experiences and opportunities.

 

The effectiveness of our approach is evidenced by the high levels of youth engagement with the project. Indeed, since July 2017, the launch film has been viewed over 3.8m times and the Scouts page on CrossCountry’s Community Hub microsite received more than 34k views (to 11/12/17). Furthermore, there have been +26.5k downloads of the activity pack and +14k badges awarded. With these high levels of engagement and a clear reduction in trespassing incidents, this project has proven to be extremely successful and provides a rigorously tried and tested approach for other organisations to follow.