The RailStaff Awards 2024

Carol Hellyer

Great Western Railway

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Nominations for Samaritans Lifesaver Award

Leanne Tanner

Said the following about Carol Hellyer:

“Carol has been on the railway over 20 years and her dedication and love for the role has pushed most of her family members to become part of the GWR railway team. Carol is not only a Train Manager but an ambassador to the role with all the training and development she has supported Bristol's guard depot with throughout the years, It has to be well over 150 trainees that Carol alone has supported through the process, Carol is also known as the mum of the depot always looking out for her fellow colleagues.

A few months ago on her way into work at 4.00 in the morning, Carol caught a glimpse of a person stood on the bridge she passes every day, straight away her gut instinct set in and she pulled over, she walked over to the individual but not too close and asked " you okay there? " nothing came back from the individual but the way they were clinging on to the bridge and with their head down Carol felt she needed to try and get some response or something bad could happen, she kept asking questions until the male looked over to her and then she walked closer staying “I just want to chat, it’s just me no one else” and started to make light conversation. Carol could see a van on the approach and managed to get their attention without the male seeing. She got them to park further down the road then asked the male to stay right there while she went back to her car for her phone to call work, she promised she would take the call in front of him so he knew no police etc. While grabbing her phone the other passer-by in the van came over to her and she asked them quietly to call the Police and tell them he's suicidal while she kept the male talking which they did. Carol went back to young male and continue to chat until she finally convinced him to leave the bridge area and sit with Carol by the car, around 15 mins later the police arrived and Carol gave her details to the police before heading off to work, she had also given the young male her phone number and said if you ever feel like this again call me. Two weeks later Carol got a call the male asking if he could see her which she agreed to, Carol is still supporting him through his difficult times now three/four months on. He pops over for a cuppa and sometimes even some food and talks about his feelings and troubles to Carol after she has finished work and has picked up her youngest son up from school and done all her other tasks of being a mum. I think this is truly going above and beyond the initial lifesaving Carol has now become his support network, friend and counsellor. When I asked Carol why isn't he seeing a professional she said he is hoping to get some professional help but there's a waiting list!!! So I'm there for him. What a true super star. Carol's kindness and warmth not only got him off the bridge but is helping him move on from the feeling he had that day when he wanted to jump off and end his life, she is amazing.“