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Network Rail volunteer leads mental health first aider training

Earlier in June (Monday 7 to Thursday 10), Network Rail mental health first aider, Shaun Giddins volunteered to run a two-day mental health first aider course where he hosted 22 people over a four-day period at Bradninch Cricket Club. The two-day course aimed to help participants become more knowledgeable and confident in approaching mental health difficulties, whilst highlighting how they can offer help and support in ways that are safe and useful.

The course covered various illustrative case studies as well created opportunities for open and honest discussion, where participants shared stories of personal experience and learnt how to start conversations on ‘difficult’ and ‘tricky’ subjects.

Shaun is due to go back in three months to review and reflect on the key learnings of the course with the wider community and to see whether there is anything else Network Rail can do to help support the Bradninch community.

Shaun Giddins, Network Rail, project manager, said: “I had a fantastic four days in Bradninch where I was able to meet members of the local community and teach people about mental health first aider training as well as listen to them sharing their thoughts and personal experiences. I’m really grateful that my job allows me to take days off to volunteer at these different places where I can make a real difference in helping local communities. Everyone who participated and attended the course was brilliant and we received some really great feedback from everyone involved. I look forward to going back in three months to see how we can review and reflect on the changes we’ve made.

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