Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.

My name is Joanne (or RoboJo) and since the age of 26 I have suffered with Rheumatoid Arthritis. This debilitating disease changed my life, I had to give up work and 17 years on I've had 2 joint replacements and 4 other surgeries to correct deformities caused by the RA, with a few other operations on the horizon. I am fortunate to have a wonderful GP, Rheumatology team and Orthopaedic surgeon who keeps me going (even if it means I'm being turned into a cyborg!)

Another important part of my life is the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) I have been a member and volunteer for them for a number of years now, and they really have made a difference to my quality of life, helping others has made me feel that I'm not left on the scrapheap. I would like to raise some funds for this patient led charity to help raise awareness about RA not only with the general public but also with the medical professionals. NRAS offer help and support for the long term management of RA, which can affect people of any age.

So with this in mind my fund raising activity is..

The Great Rail Race,  8th/9th September 2009

The great rail race won’t involve me cycling long distances, leaping out of a plane, or anything strenuous at all (i'm not up to that just yet!).. My plan is to travel from Birmingham to Inverness and back to Birmingham by train.

What’s the big deal with that I hear you ask? Ohh did I not mention that I’d be going via Penzance and London on the outward journey, and returning via York on the last leg. My plan is to complete the challenge in 2 days, and I plan to blog the entire journey as it progresses.

I’ve always loved rail travel, and this journey would take me to some wonderfully scenic parts of the UK and hopefully raise some funds for NRAS. My itinerary should be as follows:

Tuesday 8th

Cross Country Trains XC151000
Birmingham New Street    d 07.12
Plymouth                              a 10.48

First Great Western GW110100
Plymouth                              d 11.18
Penzance                             a 13.18

First Great Western GW121300
Penzance                             d 14.00
London Paddington            a 19.24

First Scotrail SR270307
London Euston                    d 21.16
Inverness                              a 08.30 (Wednesday)

Wednesday 9th

First Scotrail SR041000
Inverness                              d 09.18
Perth                                     a 11.33

First Scotrail SR530600
Perth                                     d 11.59
Edinburgh                             a 13.19

Cross Country XC175000
Edinburgh                             d 14.08
Birmingham New Street      a 19.08

Total Mileage for the trip is around 1806 Miles

Update: 01/09/09

I've had a call from Val at NRAS HQ today, it seems that First Scotrail have kindly donated a sleeping berth for the London - Inverness leg of my journey next week.

So my thanks go to First Scotrail for their very generous donation

Update: 03/09/09

I've just had notification that First Great Western have kindly upgraded me to first class on both legs of my journey with them which is from Plymouth to Penzance, and the Penzance to London Paddington leg. 

So my thanks go to First Great Western for their very generous donation.

Update 04/09/09,Well what can I say! I simply can't express my sincere thanks to everyone enough, to those who have donated to my fund raiser, yesterday afternoon my target of £250 was broken, as the hours count down towards the start of my journey, I'm really looking forward to it.

Update 04/09/09 I really am overwhelmed this evening, a good friend Sherri and the Security and Police of SO17 at The Palace of Westminster have donated a huge £101 towards my rail race this evening.

Update 07/09/09

Over the weekend, the total raised has gone up to an amazing £472!! I've had notification this morning that Cross Country Trains have also upgraded me to First Class on their two services which I'll be using on my journey, My thanks again to everyone who has donated. As a result of my original target getting smashed, I've now raised it slightly after some advice from some other fund raisers.

Update: 12/09/09

Well I completed my trip, met some wonderful people en route, saw some wonderful scenery and had a great experience on the whole journey. I've got some pics up on my flickr page (there are more but I've exceeded my monthly upload limit) you can find the small selection here sorry about the quality of some of them, they were taken from the train.

Finally I'd like to thank everyone who has been so kind in their donations, I really can't express my sincere thanks to you all for the wonderful support I've had from friends, NRAS members, my new friends on the XRV forum and the Security and Police of SO17 at The Palace of Westminster.

My thanks also must go to Cross Country Trains, First Great Western and First Scotrail for their generous upgrades to First Class and providing a berth on the Caledonian Sleeper service.

Thank you all once again, :)


You'll be able to follow the Great NRAS Rail Race at the following sites:

it's blog page

On Twitter, look for the #nrasgrr tags

It will also appear on Facebook and I've set up a Google Map for the event

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate - I raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

Thank you for your help and support :)


Updates 0

Raising money for

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS)

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS)

Charity Registration No. 1134859 and SC039721

NRAS works to support the 690,000 people living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and the 12,000 children and young people living with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), their families, friends, carers and the healthcare professionals who treat them.

Raising money for

Run by National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS)

Charity Registration No. 1134859 and SC039721

Donations 35

So let's get this right. You breeze around the country in First Class and want money for it?! That's genius! You're lucky it's a good cause...

Donation by from an XRV member on 20/11/09


+ £19.74 Gift Aid

I didn't give to the XRV this year (I was somewhere else at the time) so here's a little to help you on your way, good for you !!

Donation by Dilbert XRV Exile :o) on 18/10/09

Well done Jo - I enjoyed your journey. Hope you and Charlie are fully recovered!

Donation by Ann Montgomery on 29/09/09


+ £2.82 Gift Aid

Well done Jo!

Donation by Lyn2 on 14/09/09


Hi Jo. Sorry I'm late with this. I know you enjoyed the journey and even more important it brought some cash in for a worthwhile charity!

Donation by Pete Symonds on 13/09/09


+ £2.82 Gift Aid

Hope this helps that total to soar Jo!

Donation by JulieM - NRAS on 12/09/09


+ £2.82 Gift Aid

Well done Jo - Europe next time?

Donation by Dave & Deb on 09/09/09


+ £5.64 Gift Aid

Well done Jo! See you soon X

Donation by Claire Robinson on 09/09/09


+ £2.82 Gift Aid

Best of luck, very civilised way of seeing the country for a good cause!

Donation by caz arnold on 08/09/09


+ £5.64 Gift Aid

Good luck, Jo!

Donation by Becky, also from on 07/09/09


+ £2.82 Gift Aid

Good luck with your trip. I think you've got most of the forum following your journey!

Donation by Roadcat from on 07/09/09


+ £2.82 Gift Aid

You are a star! Brilliant challenge - we are sure it will go well. Have fun! From all the team at NRAS

Donation by Team at NRAS on 07/09/09


Hope it goes well for you Jo and what you are doing is fantastic!!!!

Donation by Mary Earle on 05/09/09


Be proud of what you are achieving. Well done form another XRV rider.

Donation by Rob Hughes - AKA Traveller on 04/09/09


+ £2.82 Gift Aid

On behalf of the wonderful Security and Police of SO17 at The Palace of Westminster. Have fun Jo and watch for those curled up sandwiches.

Donation by Sherri Joyce on 04/09/09


Donation by Sue in Italy on 04/09/09


+ £6.21 Gift Aid

Good luck :)

Donation by Roger Wood on 04/09/09


+ £2.82 Gift Aid

You're welcome :) Now don't fail! :P

Donation by Robert Stout on 03/09/09


+ £5.64 Gift Aid

Target hit !, good luck Jo from the grumpy old git 007 aka Mark Smith from

Donation by mark g smith on 03/09/09


+ £2.82 Gift Aid

Hey Jo, Hope your trip goes well - give my love to Nessie! Well done, thanks and good luck

Donation by Liz M (NRAS) on 03/09/09


+ £7.05 Gift Aid

Donation by helen urquhart on 02/09/09


+ £5.64 Gift Aid

Now, eh don't you go painting those trains black and turning this into a 'Flying Goth Woman' record breaking tour of Britain. Go Jo go....!!

Donation by Sara Mitchell on 02/09/09


+ £8.46 Gift Aid

Good luck Jo, hope it goes well. Diane x

Donation by Diane Hennessey on 01/09/09


Thank you and good luck!

Donation by Patrick Gill (roczko) on 01/09/09


+ £2.82 Gift Aid

Go Jo! Good luck , Doreen xxx

Donation by Doreen Littlewood on 31/08/09


Donation summary

  • * Online donations£662.00
  • Offline donations£35.00
  • Text donations£0.00
  • Total raised£697.00
  • Gift Aid£143.00

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