South Devon Railway ‘encouraged’ by initial SOS appeal response

South Devon Railway GWR 2-6-2T No. 5542.
The South Devon Railway has launched a video to help increase awareness of its appeal.

Just over a week since it was launched on Sunday, April 5, the latest updated figure for the South Devon Railway’s  ‘SOS – Save Our Steam’ – £500,000 funding appeal shows that over £31,000 has been raised so far, which the SDR says is “a very encouraging result!”

The charming GWR branch line reckons the current closure until half way through its main season will lead to a “massive and unsustainable financial hit.”

“This couldn’t have come at a worse time for the charity, with services stopping only a few days after they began following the closed winter maintenance period,” it said.

In addition, two bridges, including one over the River Dart at Buckfastleigh, were damaged in winter storms and need urgent repair work.

Reaction

Commenting on the news, a South Devon Railway (SDR) Trust spokesman said: “I can’t begin to thank all of those kind people who have donated money already to our ‘SOS – Save Our Steam’ appeal so far who are helping us in our hour of need. You certainly find out who your real friends are when you’re in trouble with your back against the wall!

“We reckon that we’ll need up to £500,000 to survive this crisis and, while our appeal is still a long way short of that figure, it’s been a very encouraging and humbling start to have received so much support in just over a week.

“All of the money raised will go towards safeguarding the SDR and helping us get through the Covid-19 crisis, but we will still need more cash because the railway simply has no income at present and our insurances do not cover for this type of loss. So, please keep the donations coming if you can no matter how small, it all helps!”

Donations to date

The SDR’s Virgin Giving Money appeal now stands at £12, 861.25, comprising £10,806.00 in direct donations and £2,055.25 in Gift Aid (the 25% given by the Government on donations made by UK tax payers).

And, with the above appeal figure added to all of the other separate donations made by three of the 15 internal groups on the SDR so far too of £15,500, plus a Facebook appeal which now comprises £3,040.68, including Gift Aid, the current aggregate total is £31,401.93, and more donations are also confidently expected from the other groups based on the SDR.

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