Blackpool Transport Trains Wellbeing Ambassadors

Blackpool Transport Trains Wellbeing Ambassadors

Blackpool Transport trains Wellbeing Ambassadors as part of its commitment to employees and customers. Our local transport provider is developing and delivering a comprehensive mental and physical wellbeing training programme. It’s for the benefit of staff and the wider community.

Blackpool Transport Services (BTS) employs over 650 staff to operate both buses and trams within Blackpool and the Fylde.

Blackpool Transport Trains Wellbeing Ambassadors

70 volunteers from across the company’s departments have now been trained. They’re now wellbeing ambassadors and ‘Be The Shoulder’ support contacts for colleagues who may have issues relating to their wellbeing.  In addition, employees are being given the tools and information to become more aware of the issues that might be faced by customers using the transport network – such as dementia.

The wellbeing training programme has now been delivered to over 12% of the workforce. It includes mental, physical and financial information and guidance for staff and the executive management team.

Be The Shoulder

As part of the scheme BTS developed its own ‘Be The Shoulder’ mental health initiative together with Lancashire Mind and Time to Talk. Internal trainers have also been trained to understand dementia issues with the information shared with other BTS employees including drivers. A Dementia Safe Haven was created some time ago within Blackpool Transport town centre Customer Centre to offer an additional support facility.

To achieve a high standard of training, visits were made to Transport for London and Preston Environment Agency. Staff learned more about their approach to wellbeing, the support available and facilities they provide. Conferences have been attended to understand current approaches to mental and health topics. Driver training workbooks have been produced with clear signposts to health related agencies.

Driving wellbeing through BTS

The BTS wellbeing community structure now includes –

  • two executive champions,
  • a wellbeing co-ordinator,
  • four mental health first aiders
  • and the team of enthusiastic ambassadors.

Each person wears an immediately identifiable ‘BTS’ badge which allows employees to recognise at a glance who they can speak to discreetly in confidence. Quiet spaces have been created for employees if they need to talk to someone, or simply have somewhere to take some time to reflect and feel calmer.

Embedding wellbeing into the workplace

Karen Arrowsmith of Lancashire Mind said “Embedding wellbeing champions within workplaces to provide peer support to colleagues promotes the supportive culture essential to developing happier workplaces. The Blackpool Transport ‘Be The Shoulder’ scheme is a great way of embracing their staff’s passion and belief in positive mental wellbeing. It provides an additional layer of support for their colleagues which will grow and evolve over time.”

Jane Cole, Blackpool Transport Services Managing Director, commented: “We’re passionate about the mental, physical and financial wellbeing of our employees and our customers.

“People want to be listened to. In creating a supportive, open and honest culture we’re striving to make our workplace better for everyone.

“We want everyone to be aware that there is always someone to talk to within BTS. And to have a better understanding of the issues that customers may have who they come into contact with during their working day.”

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