Small Talk expert wins Samaritans Lifesaver Award

Rizwan Javed

A young man who has helped vulnerable people on the railway has won the Samaritans Lifesaver award. Rizwan Javed, who works for MTR Crossrail, was presented with the award, which recognises people who have used their talking and listening skills to save lives, at the Rail Staff Awards at NEC in Birmingham.

Rizwan, who completed Samaritans Managing Suicidal Contacts training course in 2015, has championed Samaritans’ training and performed many interventions on the railway network. 

Rizwan said: “I would like to thank everyone at MTR Crossrail for recognising my work and putting me forward for this award, I am truly overwhelmed. I’d like to think I’ve made a difference and it all started with having the confidence to build ‘Small Talk’. I would really encourage each and every front-line colleague to attend the Managing Suicidal Contacts course with Samaritans, and have the confidence to approach, notice a vulnerable person and make our railway the safest it can be.” 

The Lifesaver Award, which is sponsored by Samaritans, recognises those who have shown courage and compassion by helping someone in crisis, supporting them and keeping them safe. This award aims to promote the fact that suicide is preventable and suicidal thoughts are often temporary, as highlighted in Samaritans’ Small Talk Saves Lives campaign. 

Ian Stevens, Network Rail Programme Manager, said: “The training courses delivered by Samaritans on behalf of the rail industry are integral to our successful suicide prevention programme. All of the training courses run by Samaritans provide staff with listening skills that attendees have transferred into other areas of their work and home life too.” 

For every life lost on the railway, six are saved by those around them by staff or the public noticing a person at risk*. More than sixty rail staff were put forward for the Lifesaver Award. Of the 15 shortlisted, not all had undergone Samaritans training when they successfully acted to save a life. 

Samaritans Active Listening and the Suicide Prevention and Support on the Railway online learning each take about an hour and could help you develop your skills and knowledge.