Samaritans course leader wins Rail Trainer of the Year

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Steve Tollerton, training officer for the Samaritans, has won this year’s Trainer of the Year Award at the RailStaff Awards 2012.

Working for the Samaritans, Steve runs free training courses for frontline railway staff – many of whom have to deal with people taking their own lives and the aftermath.

Station staff, operations managers and police officers can enrol on the courses which aim to teach people how to approach people who appear distressed, including those which may lead to suicide.

Steve said: “I’m delighted to have won the award and I’d like to thank the Samaritans team and the frontline staff who attend the training and put those skills into practice.

I’m delighted to have won the award and I’d like to thank the Samaritans team and the frontline staff who attend the training and put those skills into practice.

“We know of at least 40 people who have actually gone on to use the skills and get someone who was suicidal away from danger. A common reaction regarding fatalities is ‘we knew something was not quite right but what can you do’ and this is the what you can do part. It’s just really getting the person talking, away from the danger area to a place of safety.”

Tom O’Connor, managing director of the Rail Media Group which organises the RailStaff Awards, said: “This award is important and close to the hearts of many in the industry. Lives have been saved as a result of these courses.”

The Samaritans is a confidential emotional support service for anyone in the UK and Ireland. The service is available 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide. Volunteers offer support by responding to phone calls, emails and letters.

Alternatively people can drop in to a branch to have a face-to-face meeting. Across the UK you can call Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 for the price of a local call. In the Republic of Ireland call 1850 60 90 90.

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