Quadrant Events, the Nottingham-based conference and media production experts, have been awarded for their work in the creation of the Suicide Prevention and Support on the Railway: Learning Tool.
Knowing how to save lives on the railways is behind an innovative set of on-line learning materials for railway staff which has just won the ‘Best use of technology’ category in this year’s annual Charity Times Awards. Suicide prevention charity Samaritans, Network Rail, British Transport Police, East Midlands Trains and Quadrant Events received the award on behalf of the wider industry, for their partnership in developing the web-based package which includes a comprehensive website, training videos and learning guidelines. The awards took place in London on Wednesday 7 October and are organised by the publication Charity Times to recognise excellence in the sector.
On average one person attempts or completes suicide on the British rail network every 31 hours and incidents on the tracks affect rail staff as well as passengers and the victim’s relatives. By partnering with Samaritans, Network Rail has an aspiration to reach over one hundred thousand rail industry staff through a combination of face-to-face training and the new online learning materials which give staff the skills and confidence to intervene.
The award-winning Suicide Prevention and Support on the Railway: Learning Tool is designed to help rail network staff spot the signs of potential incidents, give them the skills to know how to talk to a vulnerable person and to be able to resolve the situation with colleagues from either the British Transport Police, the emergency services or partners such as Samaritans. Through the dedicated website, employees have access to ten downloadable video-based learning modules, guidance notes for running group briefing sessions and the opportunity for feedback.
Quadrant Events, specialists in event management and media production, were commissioned by Network Rail to create the content for the Learning Tool having previously delivered two suicide prevention conferences for rail employees in 2013 and in 2014. The company brief was to design materials that can be delivered quickly, that will inspire behavioral changes, and that will lead to potentially life-saving action and reduction in trauma following rail fatalities. Under the direction of managing director Andy Hogben, the media production team gained an understanding of the causes and effects of rail-related suicide, interpreted the training required into sensitive video-based modules and delivered the website platform carrying all Learning Tool materials.
Quadrant Events managing director Andy Hogben said: “It has been a privilege to work on this project and to receive recognition for its impact through the Charity Times award. The campaign brief required my team to work alongside rail industry professionals as well as experts at Samaritans so I believe this award also recognizes strong teamwork and a true spirit of collaboration.”
Ian Stevens, the head of the Network Rail suicide prevention programme, says: “Any death on the railway is a tragedy but the impact is felt not only by those who knew the person but by the train driver and station staff and those who are involved in the aftermath. We want to do everything we can to stop this from happening, and if it does, to help our people deal with it. The online learning tool has been developed to supplement the extremely successful training courses that Samaritans deliver for railway staff. It has helped us to reach out to thousands more of our people and provide them with guidance, reassurance and skills to understand a difficult and sensitive situation, and make a positive difference. I’m pleased everyone involved with this project has been recognised with this award, but the real prize is the potential lives it will save.”
Ruth Sutherland, Samaritans CEO said: “We are delighted with this award – Samaritans and the rail industry have been working hard to roll out the learning tool, which has been developed to raise awareness of suicide prevention and support available to staff on the railways. It has now been seen by 8,000 railway workers.
“It is a unique partnership, and takes a proactive approach in order to equip people with the skills to reach out to those who are vulnerable, working closely with Network Rail, the British Transport Police and the Train Operating Companies.”
Mark Smith, Strategic Lead, British Transport Police comments: “This award at such a high profile awards ceremony really celebrates the innovative approach to protecting the public and supporting the industry, while promoting understanding of the high-risk environment our staff and officers work in.
“Our partners in this project came to us as subject experts – using several of our officers to help shape the final product – resulting in a tool which will be suitable for rail staff and our employees alike. We also want it to be used as a best practice tool with our Home Office colleagues – so thank you to everyone who was involved; your input will make a difference.”