AAD Tuesday

23 May 2017

AAD stood for a minute’s silence in memory of those who lost their lives in the suicide bomb attack after the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena. An emergency motion moved by Gary Boyle, of Manchester Piccadilly No 1, and seconded by Trevor Robinson, of the Black & Ethnic Minority representatives’ committee, was unanimously passed to donate £1,000 to Hope Not Hate. HNH texted GS Mick Whelan at lunchtime: ‘We will use this money to heal the hate and to offer hope. This is the time for the good and the great to stand up.’

It’s OK not to be OK

Dr Stephanie Fitzgerald, a clinical psychologist who is lead health and wellbeing specialist with the Rail Safety and Standards Board, addressed AAD this morning.

She works with stakeholders to design and deliver strategies to promote health and wellbeing on the railway. Her current projects include reducing the stigma of mental health in the rail industry and improving the recognition and management of trauma following a fatality on the permanent way.

‘I want the men and women who work in the railway industry to know it’s OK not to be OK and admit they’re not OK. Because when people say they’re “fine” they often aren’t. We need to change the way we regard mental health, not just on the railway – where depression and anxiety are all too common – but in society at large.’

Public ownership back on the political agenda

Cat Hobbs, director of We Own It, a campaign for public ownership, told delegates, ‘It’s great that public ownership is back on the political agenda in a way that hasn’t happened in Britain for a very long time.

‘We started campaigning on the high price of fares – which shows that privatisation hasn’t worked for passengers, on buses or on trains – and people know that privatisation doesn’t work, but it keeps happening.

‘It makes no sense to hand over profits to shareholders rather than reinvest it. The evidence, as the FT reported recently, is that privatisation of our public services is not more efficient. Surveys show that people don’t believe that private is better than public. Time after time people say they want to see the mail, like the railway, and other pubic services, run in public ownership.’


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