Big or Small: How you can help Earlier this year the railway launched Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey, a campaign to help the attraction raise £2.5 million to ensure the continuation of the railway for future generations. The railway is happy to announce that a very impressive £264k has already been raised and it would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated. Nick Stringer, an active volunteer, explains no matter the size of your donation that it is vital to the long-term sustainability of the railway. Why do you volunteer and support a non-profit organisation? I have been a member for the past forty years and a Life Member for ten years. It is a magnificent railway which has given pleasure to thousands, and it is obvious that such a worthwhile enterprise must be allowed to survive for many more generations. Retirement six years ago gave me the opportunity to get more involved with NYMR and since then I have been involved with the railways fundraising committee as well as Chairman of the LNER Coach Association, which is responsible for the restoration of the Teak set. How do you feel about the Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey appeal? The YMJ appeal is vital to the NYMR’s future sustainability. One part of the appeal, the replacement of the Goathland bridges, is essential. All other elements are highly desirable. The thought of having to cut back services to two sections - Pickering to Levisham and Goathland to Whitby - is abhorrent; but that’s what will happen if the money is not found. What part of the Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey Appeal made you donate? The project has got off to a great start with the initial backing of the Heritage Lottery Fund, but there is no guarantee of their continued support without the NYMR demonstrating that its YMJ appeal is successful. The recent example of their withdrawal of support for stage two of the Great Central’s NRM outpost at Leicester underlines this point; which is another reason why early, regular donations to the appeal are so important. How have you chosen to donate to the Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey Appeal? I decided to make a regular donation of £10 per month because it’s reasonably affordable, being the equivalent of less than the proverbial pint per week. Over five years that will be £600, not very much in the context of the whole project, but if just 10% of the NYMR members did the same that would be £600k – a tidy sum. How did you feel when you donated to the appeal? It’s really satisfying knowing that you are part of a large group of people who all have the same ambition – to safeguard the railway for the future. It feels much more worthwhile to be on the inside contributing rather than on the outside doing nothing. What other campaigns have you donated to previously? I’ve not been a regular subscriber to NYMR appeals but, because of the importance of this one, I felt I couldn’t sit back and hope that others would do the necessary. What do you think are the greatest challenges facing non-profit organisations? It’s very difficult to make it produce enough profit to plough back into capital expenditure on its infrastructure. There’s a limit to fare increases that the non-railway enthusiast market will accept - there’s plenty of competing tourist attractions in North Yorkshire, many of which are free. What would you say to supporters who are considering donating? To anyone thinking of subscribing to the appeal - do it now, rather than leaving it for another day, or another year. If you do that, it won’t happen. The key point is that a regular standing order is probably the most painless way of doing it. The Heritage Lottery Fund has offered us up to £4.6 million as a 50% contribution to the appeal. Every pound you donate unlocks another pound from the Heritage Lottery. If you feel inspired by Nick why not setup a Regular Donation today!