Sharon gets MBE from Prince Charles for preventing railway suicide

Network Rail customer services assistant Sharon Willett (pictured) received the MBE at Buckingham Palace today for suicide reduction work on the railways.

Sharon, 44, who works at Newark station in Nottingham, was trained by Samaritans as part of the charity’s partnership with Network Rail, which includes equipping staff to spot vulnerable people and intervening to help them.

“The day was fantastic,” she said of her visit to Buckingham Palace. “I really enjoyed it.”

Sharon received her MBE from Prince Charles who is Samaritans patron. “He asked me about my intervention to help a 15 year old and I said it was all due to the power of words, which is a very precious thing, and he agreed.

“I also talked to him about what the partnership is doing now, and he said that it was marvellous.”

Since the partnership began in 2010, Samaritans has trained nearly 10,000 railway staff in suicide reduction skills.

Sharon, who has four daughters and one son, received her award for intervening to help a suicidal teenager and has taken part in a documentary on BBC Radio Five Live, and other media interviews to publicise the partnership between Samaritans and Network Rail to reduce suicides on the railways.

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For more information please contact the press office on 020 83948300 (out of hours) 079 4380 9162) or email press@samaritans.org

 Notes to editors:

Samaritans answered 5.3m calls for help in 2014. Our volunteers are here round-the-clock, every single day of the year, to support people when they are struggling. We have 201 branches and 21,200 volunteers in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. People can contact Samaritans by phone on: 08457 90 90 90, email jo@samaritans.org or find the details for your local branch at www.samaritans.org.

For more information please contact the press office on 020 83948300 (out of hours) 079 4380 9162) or email press@samaritans.org

Samaritans media guidelines are available here.