Many rail employees who have taken our courses have used their skills to save lives, at work or in their local community.
Hear from some of the rail staff who’ve taken our course and found themselves in a situation where they needed to use their new skills.
Andrew and Neena
Andrew Wellbeloved and Neena Naylor from Network Rail discuss the Managing Suicidal Contacts course and how they used the skills they learned to help someone in need.
Sheila works for TransPennine Express in Huddersfield. One day on the way to the supermarket, she used her Samaritans training and her caring nature to potentially save a life.
“I was out driving for my weekly shop when I came across a young woman in the middle of a road bridge in floods of tears. I instinctively stopped the car and got out. I approached her slowly to ensure I didn’t frighten her.
I introduced myself and asked; ‘has something happened to bring you here today?’. She told me her name and we talked about why she was there. She said she was struggling to cope during the coronavirus lockdown as she was unable to see people and get the support she needed.
I asked if there was anyone I could contact for her, and she wanted me to call her hospital. Before making the call I encouraged her to move somewhere quieter to get her to a safer place.
Another woman stopped her car and kindly offered to help. She asked the young lady; ‘do you need a hug?’. They hugged and spoke to each other giving me time to contact the hospital. I spoke to a nurse and they arranged for an ambulance.
The three of us made small talk until we heard a siren approach. It was the police rather than an ambulance, but the officers suggested the young lady wait for the ambulance in their car instead, and slowly walked our friend away. We said our goodbyes and took this as our signal to leave.
Being observant of those around you and being prepared to help is so important. I would do the same thing again if I needed to.
I carried on to the supermarket where I just sat in my car and cried. My friend and work colleague is a trained Samaritans volunteer, so I rang him. He was great and said I’d done the right thing. He was concerned for me and rang me later that night to see if I was OK. I broke down again when I told my family and replayed the scene in my head all night and didn’t sleep very well. But I’ve been fine since.
I had done the Samaritans suicide prevention training and I knew to give her space to talk, to get her to safety and to seek support from professional services. I believe things happen for a reason and I was amazed to find out that the other lady who helped, works in mental health. That evening my sister sent me this message; ‘nobody enters our path by accident, everyone is meant to cross our paths for a reason’.
Being observant of those around you and being prepared to help is so important. I would do the same thing again if I needed to".
Ken's a Mobile Operations Manager for Network Rail in Wales. Within weeks of attending the Managing Suicidal Contacts course, he contacted Samaritans to let the team know how he had put his training into action.
"I was travelling to London and I became aware of a lady on the seat in front who was becoming more and more unsettled by phone calls and text messages she was making and receiving. I started to keep an eye on her, and by the time we got to Reading I could see that she was crying
"As the train left the station, I leant forward and just said, “Are you ok, you seem to have the weight of the world on your shoulders”. She looked at me and said, “No, not at all,” with a “please help” look in her eyes.
I held her hand while she tried to speak about things but she was too upset so I comforted her and tried to make small talk.
"As we neared our final stop in London she kept on repeating, “Please don’t let me go down to the Underground.” I kept telling her that I wouldn’t.
"I told her we would stay on the train when everyone got off, and when the passengers started leaving, I asked one of them to alert the conductor, and when he arrived we decided to call the Police, who called an ambulance. I stayed with her to comfort her for another hour or so waiting for the ambulance.
"She was a very nice lady who just had some bad situations all arriving on a bad day. Afterwards, she sent me a message thanking me for everything I had done and added that she probably wouldn't be here if I hadn't bothered to ask if everything was OK."