Greater Anglia thanks volunteers on Samaritans Awareness Day

Thursday, 21 July 2022

Train operator Greater Anglia has thanked Samaritans volunteers for their life-saving work to mark the charity’s annual awareness campaign Talk To Us throughout July.

Samaritans Awareness Day is held on 24 July every year, to help spread the message that volunteers are available to listen to anyone who is struggling, 24/7.

As part of the rail industry’s partnership with the charity, Samaritans has helped train hundreds of Greater Anglia colleagues in its suicide prevention course.

The half-day course teaches rail staff how to recognise someone who may be vulnerable, how to approach them and start a conversation.

They are taught some of the essential listening skills that underpin Samaritans’ volunteer services as well as how to get the person to a place of safety and refer them onto friends, family, the British Transport Police or Samaritans to receive further support.

A total of 459 Greater Anglia staff have taken part in the course.

Matt Wakefield, Greater Anglia’s Head of Safety, Security and Sustainability, said: “We’re very grateful to the Samaritans for all that they do. Hundreds of our colleagues have taken part in their training and this had led to several life-saving interventions on our network.

“For every life lost on the railway, six are saved. The suicide prevention course has been invaluable; it empowers rail staff to start conversations, help support vulnerable people and signpost them to get the help they need.”

Samaritans Olivia Cayley, Head of Rail Programme, said: “We’re so grateful to Greater Anglia for their commitment in training their staff to potentially save lives. Suicide is preventable and talking really can make such a difference. Given the last challenging few years, it’s so important that we continue to look out for one another and encourage others to reach out for help if they need it.

“Samaritans’ Talk To Us campaign reminds the public and rail staff alike that whatever they’re facing, our volunteers are there around the clock to offer a listening ear to anyone who is struggling to cope. You can confidentially call 116 123 free of charge or email [email protected].”