Network Rail - Million Hour Challenge

Strength in numbers!

Network Rail own and operate the railway infrastructure in England, Wales and Scotland on behalf of the Nation. That’s no small feat covering 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, thousands of tunnels, signals, level crossings. If that wasn’t enough, they also manage timetabling and 20 of the largest stations. Combine that with Samaritans – a registered charity providing emotional support to anyone struggling within the UK, who on average, respond to calls for help every six seconds (​that’s 600 times an hour)​- t​here’s no denying you’ve got yourself a formidable duo!

Interesting Challenge…

The Million Hour Challenge was set up by the Inspector of Railways and aimed to bring together the rail industry, volunteering one million hours for Samaritans between April 2019 and March 2024. That’s a very compelling story to tell, but where and how do you even begin to tell it? Although the partnership between Network Rail and Samaritans is long-standing, neither had the in-house expertise of planning, designing and executing a campaign of this scale so the duo needed an agency to come in and lead the initiative.

Operators booklet

Inside spread


Clear Thinking…

We worked closely with key contacts at both Network Rail​ and Samaritans​ to become a bridge between the 2 entities. Taking all points of view into consideration, whilst remaining true to the campaign objectives. From here we devised a plan to drive awareness of the initiative in equal and fair measure, engaging the right communication pathways and touchpoints to deliver hierarchy of messaging and clarity in the cascading flow of information.

Real Results…

Through the beauty of collaboration, we have brought Phase 1 of The Million Hour Challenge campaign to life, with a roll-out plan set over a period of the next 3 years. As we speak, the hours of Network Rail volunteer work are soaring and the rail industry’s culture is shifting. From fundraising, cake and bake sales, karaoke nights, raffles, sports tournaments, singing, listening volunteers, and more, every small act of kindness is contributing to a far greater movement on the Nation’s tracks. We’re proud to have been on board!

“One of the greatest gifts you can give is your time and we are honoured to have been able to give our time to Network Rail and Samaritans on such an exciting campaign. We look forward to seeing the initiative in action.”


Reasons to help

DL leaflet

“Thank you Anne and it's been great working with you on this project. You've been really helpful!”
Gemma Howe, Project Leader for Million Hour Challenge
Million Hour Challenge e-mail to illustrate text

E news letter

Million Hour Challenge presentation screen to illustrate text


The Network Rail and Samaritans Million Hour Challenge

Internal facing poster

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