Volunteers at North Yorkshire Moors Railway donate 20,000 hours of their time during pandemic

North Yorkshire Moors Railway is celebrating Volunteers’ Week by honouring the work of its own volunteers who gave up more than 20,000 hours to support the heritage attraction through the global pandemic.

To mark the start of national Volunteers’ Week, which runs from 1 to 7 June, NYMR highlighted the efforts its volunteers to go to, including 15 per cent who travel over 160 miles to help out and 14 per cent who have committed to the charity for more than 20 years. It calculated a total of 20,792 hours had been donated during the pandemic.

Marcus Aldrich, head of volunteer development of NYMR said: “Our volunteers are the life and soul of the railway, without whom we simply wouldn't be able to run. As an organisation, we’re heavily reliant upon volunteers and welcome hundreds of invaluable helpers up and down the line who get involved with a variety of hands-on roles.

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“This week is a time to really honour our volunteers and is always a highlight in our calendar however, the impact of the global pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns has meant that in order for our 2021 season to open and run successfully we needed more support and hands on deck than ever before so we owe everything to our volunteers for helping keep us on track.”

Pickering Station

A team of over 210 volunteers carry out roles as engine cleaners, firemen and drivers while another 73 maintain NYMR’s fleet of heritage diesel and steam locomotives.

A further 15 work with the North York Moors National Park to conserve and manage wildlife while the Permanent Volunteers team replaces a minimum of one mile of track every year to ensure the engines operate smoothly.

NYMR will be joining Volunteers’ Week’s daily themes and festivities including ‘The Big Lunch’ and branded NYMR Volunteer Week biscuits will be available in the Tea Rooms to mark the occasion.