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A Derby-based Driver for East Midlands Trains has picked up this year’s ‘Train Driver of the Year Award’ at the Railstaff Awards.
Paul Trigwell was selected as winner as a result of his proactive work with Samaritans to help other train drivers deal with the impact of fatalities on the rail network. Paul decided to dedicate his efforts towards helping prevent suicides and assisting colleagues after experiencing first-hand the trauma of a fatality on the railway when a train he was driving was involved in a suicide incident.
Through East Midlands Trains, Paul has been assisting Samaritans in the development of training courses and educational material, and has openly shared his experiences to ensure the work is tailored to drivers needs. Through his proactive input into the Suicide Prevention Group, senior representatives from Network Rail and British Transport Police have helped to gain a better understanding of the impact of fatalities from a train drivers’ perspective.
Sophie Lapham from Samaritans, said: “I am delighted that Paul has won the Train Driver of the Year award – it is deserved recognition of Paul’s contribution to the Samaritans/Network Rail suicide reduction programme. Paul is passionate about trying to prevent suicide on the railways and improving the support for drivers and other staff in the rail industry who are affected by this. He has championed the programme in a number of ways, including being part of a short film where he talks about his own experiences, which is now used in our training materials. Paul is helping us to get the word out to other rail staff that training and support is available through the programme".
Mark Steward, Safety & Operations Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “Paul is a great example of a driver that is willing to put himself forward to make a real difference in an area he feels passionate about. We’re lucky to have Paul in the team and this award is extremely well deserved.” Earlier this year, Paul also won a Highly Commended Award in the category of Outstanding Personal Contribution at the National Rail Awards for his work with the Samaritans. The judges at these awards commented that Paul’s contribution had left them ‘humbled’.
Watch Paul Trigwell talking about experiencing a suicide while he was driving a train, and the partnership between Samaritans and Network Rail: www.samaritans.org/media_centre/special_reports/network_rail_2011_update/nr_paul_vodcast.aspx.
The awards, held in Birmingham on 29 October, recognise the valuable work undertaken every day by rail staff across the country. For more information, visit www.railstaffawards.com.
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