Enhance the UK is delighted to announce a new project partnership with Northern (Arriva Rail North) to deliver staff disability awareness training.

This partnership entails formal in-classroom training for their new staff including conductors, gateline  and ticket office staff and includes a full day of disability awareness training by instructors with a disability themselves. This gives attendees real life experiences and focuses on improving their communication skills when speaking to and helping disabled customers.

Training teams form Enhance along with Northern colleagues have also travelled to 18 main stations across the Northern network with our disability roadshows. These were based in the stations and gave staff an introduction to disability awareness, with some fun exercises and engaging content to help give staff the confidence to interact with customers with physical and sensory disabilities.

Enhance the UK is a user-led charity and firmly believes that disability awareness training should be delivered by people who have a disability, who can evoke real life experiences and provide emotive and engaging content. We are delighted that Northern are taking positive steps to improve the service given to their disabled customers.

Dan Edwards, Northern’s Head of Customer Experience, said: “It is great news for colleagues and customers that Northern has teamed up with Enhance the UK to improve and develop our understanding of the challenges faced by our customers with disabilities.

"As well as this partnership, which has already seen many of our current and new colleagues receive awareness training on a wide range of disabilities, we continue to co-chair our inclusivity forum and work with industry partners to improve accessibility on the Northern network.”

 Jennie Williams, CEO of Enhance, said: “We are extremely enthusiastic and delighted to be working with Northern. It is a great move by the largest train operator in the UK to take positive steps in the right direction. We know that by helping staff improve how to interact with their disabled customers, this will give them a better experience on their journey.

Northern operates more stations than any other operator in the UK, and believes it is important to engage and connect with all customers.

Dan added: “Northern and Enhance have also partnered to create a series of informative and practical short films and leaflets that demonstrate how we can help our disabled customers. We are fully committed to continuing to develop the customer service skills of our colleagues to benefit all of our customers.”