Tom is a volunteer working with Network Rail’s Community Safety Team, visiting schools and community groups to warn about the dangers of trespassing on the railway. He works tirelessly to reach and engage with young people across the North West and beyond.
On 22 September in recognition of his efforts, Tom received the Judges Special Award and a standing ovation for the fantastic work he’s done in his community.
It’s a remarkable achievement, especially considering Tom’s own story. 15 years ago, aged 14 and playing about on the railway, Tom jumped on the top of a train and slipped. He grabbed an overhead electric wire to steady himself – and received an electric shock of 25,000 volts. It left him with scars for the rest of his life.
The horrific injuries had a huge impact on his family. His mum was told there was only a 25 per cent chance he would make it through his first night in hospital. Even after he returned home the incident had an impact on his school work and he was badly bullied.
After many difficult years, Tom decided to turn his life around and contacted Network Rail, expressing an interest in speaking to school children about his mistakes and how he hoped to use his own story to teach children to stay safe around the railway.
I typed in Network Rail safety and it said to email if you have any enquiries. A week later, I got an email from Nick Jordan, Community Safety Manager at Network Rail. We ended up meeting and I was so impressed with the work he was doing to try and make the railways safe. He’s become a friend and helps push me in the right direction.
Since January this year I’ve been trying to make a positive out of a negative – trying to get involved with Network Rail, just trying to get the point across of how dangerous the railways are for kids, for anyone really.
Tom Crosby, Network Rail volunteer
Tom has since become a key figure in Network Rail’s national safety campaigns this year featuring on BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio 5 live – becoming one of the most popular films on the BBC’s website.
It’s fantastic to see Tom recognised for all the hard work he does for rail safety. He is not a railway employee and volunteers all his time. He is completely motivated by passion, and strives to stop others from being injured and killed on the railway.
He has moved and inspired everyone from senior managers, frontline staff to school children. Last night was no exception; there wasn’t a dry eye in the house after the audience heard his story.
Nick Jordan, community safety manager, Network Rail
(Source: Network Rail)