Iain Ferguson, director of regulatory liaison and accident investigation, at Network Rail, has a stressful job that involves dealing with complex and sensitive issues on the railway. To unwind from his hectic work, he often takes to drawing with hard pastels (chalks).
His colleagues and friends noted his artistic skills and encouraged him to stop giving them away and sell them online instead. So, Iain has set up an Etsy store where he is offering his original and unique artworks for sale. But he also wanted to use his hobby as a way to give back to the railway community.
With that in mind, if you put @railwaychaplain in any order, 77% of the price will be donated to the Railway Mission, a charity that provides pastoral care and support to railway staff and passengers across Britain.
The Railway Mission has been serving the railway industry since 1881 and has a team of chaplains who visit stations, depots, offices and other railway locations. They offer a listening ear, a friendly chat, a shoulder to cry on, or a word of prayer to anyone who needs it.
Iain said: “I’ve been on the railway for over 25 years, it’s a great industry full of brilliant people but I know how challenging and stressful it can be, especially in these difficult times.
“Time and time again I am told by frontline colleagues just how valuable and important the Railway Mission is for the railway family. They do a fantastic job of providing comfort, guidance and hope to those who are struggling, facing hardship or have encountered difficult events”
He added: “I love using ‘the chalks’. They are messy, they rarely turn out as I intend, and so you have to go with the literal flow. It is a perfect way to decompress. I am happy to share my paintings with others and to support the Railway Mission. I hope that my paintings bring enjoyment and peace to those who buy them and to those who benefit from the Railway Mission’s services.”
You can visit Iain’s Etsy store www.etsy.com/shop/pastelsbyiain and browse his collection of pastel seascapes. If you want to support the Railway Mission, don’t forget to put @railwaychaplain in the order and 77% of the order will be donated to the charity. This is a wonderful gesture and an opportunity to get your hands on a beautiful and unique piece of artwork.
Railway Mission is a national charity which provides a regionally-based chaplaincy service aiming to be an impartial ‘friend’ to those who work on the railway. Regardless of faith, gender, sexual orientation or position in the industry, chaplains offer face-to-face year-round support, especially during an individual’s time of loneliness, stress, depression, bereavement, or illness.
Image credit: Railway Mission