British Empire Medal for Arriva driving coach’s fundraising

Arriva North West driving coach Neil Atherton was recognised in the New Year Honours list with a British Empire Medal for his charity fundraising work over the past two years.

Mr Atherton, who is formally a bus driver at the operator’s Runcorn depot, has been employed by Arriva for over 23 years and now works with drivers that are new to the business.

In 2020 and 2022, he walked the length of a number of the business’s major routes, covering 260 miles in total. That saw him raise £11,000 for The Trussell Trust and The Whitechapel Centre.

On his walks in 2022, Mr Atherton was joined by family, friends and colleagues. They provided comfort, support and conversation as he raised both money and awareness for the two charities.

Mr Atherton’s fundraising work is expected to continue in 2023 in a larger initiative than before to further support communities in the North West.

Speaking about his Honours recognition, Mr Atherton says: “As someone who loves to shout about good news, the hardest part of this was keeping my recognition a secret until the King’s Honours List had been announced.

“I am so proud to receive a British Empire Medal. I have genuinely loved every minute of my fundraising walks – even when the weather was rubbish and my feet hurt – but this has made the whole experience even better.”