The RailStaff Awards 2024

Nominations for Samaritans Lifesaver Award

James Spiers

Said the following about Annie Sanders and David Cracknell:

“David and Annie were on the platform when David noticed a distressed young female who was positioned at the edge of the platform in tears.

David approached the female and asked if she was ok. The female stated that she was planning to commit suicide by jumping in front of a train. Recognising that the female was extremely vulnerable, David moved her to a position of safety on to the platform bench. Annie joined David to offer assistance and contact the local Signaller, Control. The Police were contacted and made aware of the situation.

The female attempted to leave and make her way to the platform edge, but was persuaded not to and moved to a more secure location inside the Sleeper Lounge. Despite being in a secure position within the Sleeper Lounge the female again tried to leave and head for the tracks. David used exceptional communication and active listen skills and was able to prevent her from leaving by using calm persuasion.

The female shared details of her troubled past and the issues that she was currently trying to cope with. David and Annie was able to sit with the female and provide her with comforting and calming reassurance.

The way that David and Annie was able to recognise the situation, and then persuade the female customer to sit down and talk away from the platform edge was excellent.

David and Annie recognised that a female was upset and using their experience, and their vulnerable customers’ training they very quickly identified a safety situation and intervened to prevent further risk to life.

In this situation they demonstrated the GWR 6 pillars of customer excellence to the highest levels. They achieved this by empathising, whilst listening to the customers most personal feelings. They used Integrity while building a trusting relationship and giving the customer belief that they will help her to safety. To do this they personalised the situation by focusing on her individual needs and reassuring her they were there to help, no matter how long it would take. And at the same time they focused on the train service and needs of others.

While talking to the customer, and due to the nature of the situation they gave her all the time that she needed. They also decided to move her into the sleeper lounge to give her respect and privacy.

David and Annie was able to arrange for BTP to assist. The whole operation was managed with the upmost consideration; respect; empathy and safety being always at the forefront. David also recognised that the customer might prefer to talk with a female present.

We were really impressed with the way that they communicated clearly and effectively to each other to help the customer to safety. The young lady was determined to commit suicide, and if it wasn't for Dave and Annie this lady wouldn't be here today. While attending to the lady Annie played a huge part in keep the service disruption to a minimum. Sharon and I are immensely proud of what Dave and Annie achieved on that day.

Dave and Annie have set a very high standard to the rest of our station team. This has had a positive outcome because other staff members have recognised their own training needs and have booked courses to help them, help vulnerable customers.“