Black Country charity gets festive celebrations into first gears

A leading Black Country charity has got its Christmas celebrations into top gear – after being selected by members of the local community to win a festive windfall from one of the biggest names in UK transport.

Following an appeal for people to nominate which local charities they’d like National Express to donate £1,000 to, and have a visit from its special ‘National Expressmas’ coach, the company was inundated with nominations for the Beacon Centre for the Blind in Wolverhampton, a charity dedicated to helping local people with sight loss live a fuller more independent life.

This week, the festive coach paid a visit to the fantastic charity, which first began life in 1875 as the Wolverhampton Society for the Blind and has grown from strength to strength since then providing support to thousands of service users. The new Beacon Centre building opened in 2009 and has become a focal point for the local community. 

Driver David Adjarkoh handed over the cheque to Beacon service user Brian Ellis, 78.

For National Express, Beacon was an obvious choice, with people describing it as a focal point for the community and really making a difference to the lives of blind and partially sighted people.

Boss Tom Stables said: “Christmas is a time for giving and so we’re thrilled to be taking to the roads with our special festive coach to recognise deserving charities and individuals across the country. We are passionate about investing back into the communities which we serve and are so pleased to visit Wolverhampton to recognise The Beacon Centre, which day-in-day-out improves lives of its service users”.  

Beacon partnership manager Donna Gordon said: “It is absolutely brilliant to have been chosen by so many in the community to receive this donation and warming to know our work is viewed in this way. We have been fortunate to see a great relationship develop with the local community in many different ways and areas. We would like to extend a huge thanks to the National Express team for making this happen, it makes such a huge difference to the projects we look to implement and in turn a lot of service users”.

It's not just charities National Express is giving back to this Christmas – the coach company is spreading goodwill by making the wishes of people across the UK come true too. Wishes granted include a theatre trip for a young charity fundraiser and a mini-break for a newly engaged couple who have overcome cancer. To be in with a chance of National Express making your – or a loved one’s - Christmas wish com true visit

National Express is running its biggest Christmas to date, with more coaches than ever including from Wolverhapton on Christmas Day.

News it is easier than ever to travel by coach over Christmas comes amidst warnings that two hundred rail projects and major station closures – including London Paddington, which is completely shut for six days from Christmas Eve – will impact or prohibit festive rail travel between many parts of the UK throughout the festive season.

Published 9th December 2016