Awards, contracts & appointments

17.09.19

‘Local hero’ recognised for his work with homeless in Blackpool

Chris Conway, a Network Rail signaller, was awarded for his contribution to tackling homelessness last night at an awards ceremony in Blackpool.

The event saw 125 ‘Local Heroes’ from around the seaside town celebrated for their respective efforts in the iconic Tower Ballroom. The event was organised by the Blackpool Gazette newspaper to mark the towers 125th anniversary.

The 26-year-old Network Rail employee is based at Bamber Bridge near Preston, but has been recognised for his passions aside from the railway. When he’s not signalling trains, he is dedicated to supporting people who sleep rough in his hometown of Blackpool.

Chris said: “When I heard the news I’d been given this award it was a huge surprise. Being recognised for our work helping those who find themselves on the streets in Blackpool is extremely humbling, but it’s not only me doing the great work, so it’s only right for me to accept the award on behalf of all the people who volunteer.”

Conway assembled a group of 40 local volunteers last year, who began their ‘community watch’ sporting ‘United Blackpool’ hoodies. They meet on Thursday nights to carry out street walks dedicated to supporting rough sleepers in the area.

07 02 IMAGE Chris Conway 1

Since he started his campaign, he has helped 25 homeless people out of their situation and into safe accommodation. His charitable disposition has also got him into Blackpool charity ‘Amazing Graze’ where he spends three nights a week running the soup kitchen.

His job within the rail has also led him to become a charity ambassador for Network Rail’s North West and Central region.

After receiving his Local Hero award, Chris said: “It’s great to be given this opportunity by Network Rail to support my ideas to help the homeless and take that further than Blackpool.

“Later this year that includes a charity sleepout, and there are also other exciting projects coming up which I hope will make a real difference to help people in other cities find accommodation and get themselves back on their feet.”

"From a young age, about five or six, I remember going into Blackpool and being upset when I saw homeless people. Helping the homeless is always something I’ve been passionate about."

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