Let the words from It’s a Wonderful Life serve as a powerful reminder that you’re not alone this festive season.
We wouldn’t blame you if you were dreading getting a train this Christmas.
With the news that there will be severe and “significant changes to normal services” commencing on 23 December, the Sunday just before Christmas, and that the work will impact to routes from several of London’s biggest stations, people are bracing for horrific journeys out, into, through or in any direction from London over the festive period.
But every cloud has a silver lining. Some 14 train platforms across the country will be painted with the script from the beloved Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life in celebration of the power of kindness and the spirit of the holiday season. So, if you’re stuck waiting on any of those 14 train platforms, at least you’ll have something beautiful to read.
The heartwarming initiative is in partnership between Virgin Trains and Rethink Mental Illness, a charity that aims to raise awareness around mental health issues and serve as a support network for those diagnosed with mental illness.
Today, London Euston was inked with the first section of the script, with 13 more stations to follow including Rugby, Birmingham New Street, Crew, Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Penrith and Carlisle, culminating at Glasgow Central on 13 December.
It’s A Wonderful Life was chosen because of its message of solidarity, concern and care. It tells the story of George Bailey, a man contemplating suicide on Christmas Eve who is given the chance, orchestrated by his guardian angel, to take stock of all the good in his world and the important role he serves in so many, many lives. Considered one of the great classics of American cinema, it starred James Stewart and Donna Reed and was nominated for five Oscars including Best Picture.
The movie is full of powerful quotes, all of which will be inked across train platforms spanning the nation. Like this, from George’s guardian angel Clarence: “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
Or this, also from Clarence: “You see, George, you’ve really had a wonderful life. Don’t you see what a mistake it would be to throw it all away?”
If you’re on one of these 14 train platforms this Christmas, make sure to really take in the message of the script. Virgin Trains, who have raised over £105,000 over the last two years for mental health awareness training for station staff, and Rethink Mental Illness think that these words will not only spread Christmas joy, but they just might save lives, too.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with mental health issues, you can find more information on Rethink’s website here or Mind’s website here. To donate to Virgin Trains and Rethink Mental Illness’ initiative, visit here.
Images: Doctor Macro