The RailStaff Awards 2024

Nominations for Samaritans Lifesaver Award

Vivienne Hoilett

Said the following about Andrew Cook:

“As Selhurst's women's champion Andy always has time to talk through issues that our female drivers raise.

I am aware of the support that Andy gives a driver that has recently retired. This work is always in Andy's own time and down with an enormous amount of compassion. Andy has set up systems and accessed care for this driver to enable him to live independently for as long as possible.“

Andre Reid

Said the following about Andrew Cook:

“During the autumn period of 2019 Selhurst driver and ASLEF health and safety rep Andrew Cook became involved with the support of a colleague who had failed a specialist memory tests following a safety incident which had been conducted by the occupational psychology centre deeming this person to have significant memory issues requiring further medical assessment.

Andrew noticed that the assessment made this person quite worried and vulnerable thus supported him with attending GP & Specialist doctor’s appointment as investigations went on for 2 years with significant delays due to the covid19 virus before a conclusion had been reached on what was causing the cognitive difficulties.

When safe to do so Andrew decided to visit him to see how he was and noticed that his state of living was a health hazard. Noting empty food boxes all over the flat, rotting food in the kitchen causing a fly infestation, waste bins not removed & soiled bedding, which all came as a result of said cognitive difficulties. Andrew took it upon himself to clean the flat from top to bottom and assisted this person to buy new bedding. Andrew also took the opportunity to speak with a neighbour who just so happened to work for Samaritans, building a relationship where the neighbour would make Andrew aware of any concerns.

Given this medical status from occupation health it was clear that we was not going to be able work again which prompted Andrew to support him through his medical retirement and secure funding from the local Authority to have a cleaner attend this persons home twice a week and making police aware of online pursuers who were extorting money from said person on a frequent basis. Andrew also booked him in to receive his Covid vaccinations to protect him from the virus, and further managed to secure medical insurance pay out from the engineman’s club that said person had been paying into through work. Being concerned about his welfare, Andrew also paired his phone with said person as an emergency contact which came in handy when police found him wondering around lost and were able to get him home safely.

This man lives a life of solitude with no immediate family or relatives with not many friends to speak of thus Andrews support was hugely impactful and imperative to ensure that he made all his appointments and took all his necessary medication by purchasing items such as a Dossett box as the man's cognitive state began to deteriorate rather quickly. Through all his efforts Andrew began go through his own difficulties due to mental pressure of all he had taken on which he sought help for from his doctor and line manager to support him through this phase.

Andrew most recently got said person involved in a retirees activity club for one day a week where he is collected and gets to meet others people retired from work for social activities. Andrew continues to contact him to ensure his safe keeping and is currently trying to assist with getting him to a fulltime care home where he can receive all the support required.

Andrews efforts have been recognised by operational management, HR and Occupation Health as not just someone who was supporting a colleague but a momentous effort to support another Human through a very challenging phase in their life.“

Danielle Johnson

Said the following about Andrew Cook:

“Andy is a massive asset to our depot specifically, but also to Southern, Andy always goes above & beyond for his colleagues and has supported and is supporting colleagues through very difficult times whether it be mentally, financially or professionally! Andy is an absolute gentleman and even when he is not in the workplace or on duty a lot of his personal time is used to support his fellow colleagues I believe that if it was not for Andy’s help & compassion a few people might not be here! Absolute Gem of a man!“