GWR awards almost £50,000 to aid those with learning disabilities in Cornwall

Thursday 11th May 2017

Great Western Railway (GWR) has recently announced the award of a grant of £49,357 to the charity which operates the forthcoming annual ROC 5K fun run in Truro.

The grant, awarded by GWR’s Customer and Communities Improvement Fund (CCIF), will fund two new job coaches who will work with the increasing number of local people with learning disabilities who want a paid job.

The grant will go to ROC Wellbeing, which is now part of United Response, an award winning charity that works with people with learning disabilities and mental health needs.

This year’s ROC 5K (3 mile) charity fun run, which GWR also sponsors, has a new route and will take place after work on Tuesday 27 June 2017. The annual event raises vital funds for ROC Welcome, the charity’s vibrant social opportunity which is based in Truro.

For information about the ROC 5K, go to

The GWR grant is a major part of the charity’s £100,000+ Work2Work project. Within 12 months the charity believes it should be possible for a significant number of people with learning disabilities to be engaged in more formal arrangements for work of their choice, with as many as half progressing to paid employment.

GWR CCIF Programme Manager Simon Buchanan-Morgan said:

“Committed to the communities we serve this grant will improve real employment opportunities for local people with learning disabilities by funding two skilled job coaches.

“This CCIF grant will enable ROC to develop real jobs and work experience for the people they support, with a range of committed employers.”

Therese Timberlake said:

“We are absolutely thrilled by the support of GWR. As a key business partner, GWR is right at the cutting edge of all we are seeking to achieve in terms of work place inclusion – finding work for the people we support which has meaning for them and their employer.

“This grant could not have come at a better time – many employers are increasingly concerned about how they will fill their vacancies for elementary jobs. Thanks to GWR, we believe we have an answer.”

Lee Goodson, GWR Station Manager West Cornwall, said:

“The charity has a strong reputation for the quality and range of its activities which it operates in a way that is sustainable, ethical and brings in the community – breaking down barriers and improving natural support. A great example of this is The ROC 5K charity fun run in Truro with which we are delighted to be associated with. It’s probably the only event of its kind which intentionally encourages the participation of people with learning and other disabilities.”

While Truro’s Lemon Quay piazza remains the start and finish point, this year’s ROC 5K fun run has a new route which takes in the Newham side of the Truro River and the historic city centre including the Cathedral, the Royal Cornwall Museum and The Leats.

Last year’s ROC 5K was a sell-out occasion, with 500 community spirited people taking part. With a new route, even more people can take part. People of all abilities can run, jog or walk the ROC 5K. The minimum age to participate is 11.

The funds raised by The ROC 5K will support ROC Welcome, a vibrant social opportunity for local people with learning disabilities which is based at Truro College.

The club is one of the largest of its kind in the county and is entirely dependent on voluntary donations. The ROC 5K, which raised £17,000 last year, is the club’s most important source of funding.

Notes to editors

Great Western Railway (GWR) provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services. We help over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year - across South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, and large parts of Southern England.

We’re currently seeing the biggest investment in the network since Brunel so we can offer more trains, more seats, and shorter, more frequent journeys and continue the network’s heritage of helping connect more businesses to new and prosperous markets. Through a series of initiatives we aim to be a good neighbour to the communities we serve and are committed to making a positive social impact in those regions. Learn how we're Building a Greater West at GWR is a FirstGroup company.