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Abbey People and Railpen agree community partnership to help most vulnerable people in Cambridge





Railpen has agreed a new long-term partnership with the community charity Abbey People to support some of the most vulnerable and excluded groups in Cambridge.

The aim is to ensure local residents benefit from the investment planned in Railpen’s proposed redevelopment of the Beehive Centre and Cambridge Retail Park.

Volunteer Cath at Abbey Food Hub. Picture: Abbey People
Volunteer Cath at Abbey Food Hub. Picture: Abbey People

Under the partnership, core funding will provided for the Abbey Food Hub at East Barnwell Community Centre.

Railpen will also work with Abbey People to offer mentoring programmes, careers sessions, work experience and training, as well as direct job opportunities, to inspire people from underrepresented backgrounds to consider a career in life science.

The investment manager for the railways pension schemes also plans to work with peers, suppliers and partners to help local people facing skills barriers to enter the workforce, with opportunities from design and construction through to day-to-day estate management.

A community volunteering programme will also be established, which is designed to help Railpen get to know the community better. This will include helping with projects to improve the community facilities and the environment, volunteering at food hub sessions and joining in events.

Nicky Shepherd, CEO of Abbey People
Nicky Shepherd, CEO of Abbey People

Abbey People CEO Nicky Shepard said: “The support of Railpen shows how the benefits of investment can be shared throughout our communities. This comes at a crucial time for the food hub where we are seeing more people than ever through the door, while the cost-of-living crisis has hit our food donations hard. We are really looking forward to seeing the positive impact that this partnership will have on the lives of local people.”

Volunteer Derya serving food at Abbey Food Hub. Picture: Abbey People
Volunteer Derya serving food at Abbey Food Hub. Picture: Abbey People

Matthew Howard, head of property asset management at Railpen, said: “We are incredibly proud to be supporting this fantastic charity doing great work right on our doorstep in Cambridge. We hope we can play our part in making a difference to the lives of local people through this partnership and other projects we are developing with organisations like Cambs Youth Panel.”



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