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Passengers travelling through St Pancras station on Thursday 13 March will be greeted by charity volunteers and employees from East Midlands Trains and other rail companies in support of the Samaritans’ Awareness Day.
A team of 30 volunteers from a range of companies across the rail industry, including East Midlands Trains, South West Trains, First Capital Connect, First Great Western and Network Rail will be supporting 20 Samaritans volunteers throughout the day. A dedicated team will be donning their Lycra to carry out the ‘cycle challenge’ which involves riding stationary bikes covering the equivalent distance from Derby to Portsmouth (202 miles), helping to raise awareness of the charity’s partnership with the rail industry to reduce instances of rail suicide, whilst also raising much needed funds for the Samaritans.
Samaritans’ volunteers will be present at the station throughout the day to talk to passengers about the round the clock helpline for anyone struggling to cope.
Darren Ward, East Midlands Trains Head of Operations Strategy, said: “East Midlands Trains has been working very closely with Samaritans for almost five years now. The enthusiasm, experience and support they provide is making a pronounced difference in this area of rail safety, and we’re thrilled to work alongside them.”
Samaritans delivers award-winning training programmes to rail industry staff. One course helps front line rail employees develop the skills and confidence to recognise and approach a person who may be experiencing suicidal feelings. The other course focuses on trauma support, providing managers with the tools to help colleagues who have been involved in a traumatic event. East Midlands Trains’ staff have benefitted from both courses, with direct evidence of lives being saved as a result.
Rachel Kirby-Rider, Samaritans’ Director of Fundraising said: “Thank you to everyone involved in today’s event. Our work with the rail industry is something we are really proud of and today’s event is an example of the commitment shown by everyone who is part of it. Our volunteers answer millions of calls for help every year, and funds generated from this event will allow us to continue to deliver round the clock support to anyone struggling to cope.”
Justin Page, Area Director from Network Rail, added: "Our partnerships with the Samaritans and East Midlands Trains are making vital improvements to how we help vulnerable people who come onto the railway. We hope that this event will help to further increase awareness of the support which is available.”
Samaritans is available round the clock on 08457 90 90 90 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Samaritans or the Network Rail partnership visit www.samaritans.org.