Rail staff have been recognised for their inspiring contribution to suicide prevention at Rail Staff Awards 2022, with Network Rail’s Shane Davis winning Samaritans Lifesaver Award.
The sponsored Lifesaver Award accepted nominations from rail staff who have gone above and beyond and used their Samaritans rail suicide prevention training to support vulnerable people to safety, saving lives across the rail network. The award demonstrates the power that talking and listening to someone in need can have.
MTR Elizabeth Line’s Richard Baker and GTR’s Amir Aziz’s lifesaving efforts were also celebrated as they received Highly Commended awards for the category.
The winners received their accolades at the annual event at the NEC, in Birmingham, presented by comedian Ed Byrne, which celebrates rail staff’s achievements across the industry – from drivers, to cleaners, and engineers to station staff.
Shane, Mobile Operations Manager for Network Rail - whose invaluable intervention helped save a man’s life on the railway last year - said: “Even to get a thank you email for the lives I’ve saved is massive, let alone this. It makes those really tough moments and sobbing into a latte at 3 am after I’d helped someone all worthwhile.
“I know in our industry, we are seeing more and more rail staff make interventions and look out for people on the railway, which is giving me hope - Samaritans training really does make all the difference. We couldn’t do our jobs without it. Outside of work too, I know personally of some people that the charity has helped too. Especially after such a tough few years and an even tougher climate still, my role and work is made so much better with the continued partnership with Samaritans.
“Back in 2019 I approached and talked to a woman who was in a very vulnerable situation, which then led to me being put on the Managing Suicidal Contacts and Trauma Support Training course that Samaritans offers to the rail industry. Those courses had such a big impact and gave me so much more confidence, tools in my locker & all-round knowledge that no doubt helped me in the incident I’ve been nominated for. I would 100% recommend the training to all rail staff.”
Samaritans Head of Rail, Olivia Cayley, said: “A huge congratulations to Shane and a big well done to all those who were recognised and nominated for the Lifesaver Award this year. Shane’s incredible action is an example of how vital Samaritans training is for the industry and proof that it really does save lives. We know the past couple of years have had a big impact on the nation’s mental health, so it’s so important we continue to look out for one another and encourage more rail industry staff to do Samaritans free training.”
As well as the incredible lifesavers, Samaritans staff were nominated for a number of industry awards – including Lifetime Achievement award for Samaritans Trainer, Steve Tollerton, who developed Samaritans rail programme’s Managing Suicidal Contacts and Trauma Support Training courses, when the Network Rail partnership began in 2010. The courses have now trained over 30,000 rail staff collectively.
The Samaritans Rail Training Team were also nominated for the outstanding Team Covid Heroes award, as during a challenging time they were able to move their suicide prevention training online to continue to train staff and save lives.
Steve said: “I am delighted to be recognised at the fantastic Rail Staff Awards and to be part of such an amazing team providing life-saving skills to those within the rail industry.
“As part of Samaritans’ MSC course, I am proud to cover what is a very difficult topic of suicide and help to develop delegates’ emotional, listening and observational skills in supporting those affected by suicide both on the railway and within wider community settings.”
Even to get a thank you email for the lives I’ve saved is massive, let alone this. It makes those really tough moments and sobbing into a latte at 3am after I’d helped someone all worthwhile.
Shane Davis, Network Rail