Disabled practitioners help GTR station and train staff give better assistance on railway
Published: 24 Aug 2021
Govia Thameslink Railway has trained almost 3,000 customer-facing colleagues from Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express in ways to improve the service they give disabled and older passengers on the railway.
The disability equality courses were delivered by experts who are disabled themselves and use trains frequently. Sessions explored the barriers customers face, how to offer assistance and how to communicate effectively. This gave station and train customer service staff a unique insight into the challenges disabled customers face.
Ralph Lallau, 24, from Islington, found his accessibility training “eye opening” and has been putting it to good use with Great Northern, assisting passengers at Finsbury Park in London where many trains were terminating during recent engineering work.
He said: “The training was great. I didn’t know anybody who was disabled so, having a trainer who was themselves disabled, meant it was my first time looking at a situation from their perspective – it gave me real empathy. I take my cue from the customer; I never try to assume anything because only they know what they need.”