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CrossCountry has donated 6,000 'Books for Schools' vouchers to the James Brindley School after conscientious train staff collected them from discarded copies of The Times newspaper. The fantastic efforts carried out by CrossCountry has enabled the school to exchange the vouchers for 100 new books.

Respected broadcaster Nicholas Owen kindly offered to read a selection of short stories from the new books to the children at the school's Dovedale and Birmingham Children's Hospital sites which was followed by a tour of their facilities.

Head of Library Services at James Brindley, Juliet Taylor comments: "Reading for pleasure is important in developing every aspect of a child's growth both in and out of school, especially within children who are unable to attend a mainstream school. Unfortunately sometimes school budgets don't always allow for a vast range of nonfictional books so we are incredibly grateful for the kind donation that CrossCountry has made.

"Our children are currently taking part in the national 'We are Writers' initiative which allows every child to become an author and see their work published and I'm sure this new selection of books will help to get their creative juices flowing and we will see some exciting work."

Jeremy Higgins, Customer Services Director at CrossCountry added: "This was a fantastic initiative carried out by our onboard teams and we are extremely proud of them for collecting so many vouchers. We were delighted to donate the vouchers to The James Brindley School, they provide a wonderful service for children unable to attend a mainstream school and we hope they enjoy many hours of reading with their new books."

With 13 sites across Birmingham Hospitals and teaching centres, James Brindley specialises in educating pupils who have health related issues. Catering for pupils from 4 to 19 years old, James Brindley is the largest hospital school in the world with approximately 600 pupils on roll at any one time.

Notes to editors

CrossCountry started operating on 11 November 2007. The franchise, which is the most extensive in the UK, will run until 31 March 2016. For further information on CrossCountry services and future franchise plans log on to

CrossCountry is part of the Arriva group which operates transport services in twelve European countries, employs more than 40,000 people and provides more than one billion passenger journeys every year. For more information about the Arriva group visit

CrossCountry facts and figures:

PASSENGERS CARRIED: Over 30 million passenger journeys a year anticipated
ANNUAL TRAIN MILEAGE: Approximately 16 million
EMPLOYEES: Approximately 1,700
LONGEST TRAIN SERVICE: 08.20 Aberdeen to Penzance (774 miles)

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