Railway Mission is a registered charity in England and Wales (1128024) and in Scotland (SC045897). A company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (06519565)
Modernising the railway is intended to create faster, more reliable services, with improved stations and increased freight capacity. However, recent difficulties faced by the rail industry such as timetable changes and ongoing industrial disputes have overshadowed the improvements such as the £200m investment to upgrade railway in Derby.
Railway Mission chaplains have found themselves increasing to listening and supporting people who are finding they face the frustration and aggression of railway passengers; from senior manager to new starters the strain is beginning to show. People need a sense of security, in work and at home, but when a rail worker faces such pressures, the effects spill over into every aspect of their lives. The added stress of this uncertain future can cause restless sleep, and in turn fatigue, adding to the risk of personal injury. The pastoral care and support Railway Mission chaplains provide is increasingly important for the health and mental wellbeing.
We all know the importance of physical health and wellbeing, but equally important is mental wellbeing. How we are feeling and how well we cope with day-to-day life and pressures shows our level of mental wellbeing. Yet, our mental wellbeing can change, from day to day, month to month or year to year, and so it is important to stay fit and healthy both physically and mentally.
It’s essential that companies invest into the mental wellbeing of staff on a day-to-day basis, and not just after they have experienced major traumatic events. Staying mentally well by building resilience can reduce the chances of developing mental health problems like depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Chaplaincy works with, and supplementary to, the normal company chain of care and support to build personal resilience.
Everyone is taking the difficulties rail industry is experiencing seriously, but there is a forgotten multitude of dependant railway workers from a host of ancillary supply companies that need to be considered and supported. As an organisation Railway Mission is there to support everyone, regardless of position or background; our team is small, but effective, offering independent, confidential and impartial pastoral care and as long as Railway Mission has the resources to continue the work of supporting railway people that is what the chaplains will do, because each person is important as an individual.