Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
6:56 AM 30th June 2024

LNER And Train Operators Join Forces To Call For Kindness On World Social Media Day

Photo: ©LNER
Photo: ©LNER
LNER has joined together with 14 other train operators to highlight the damage caused by abusive social media messages sent to rail staff.

To mark World Social Media Day on Sunday 30 June, a cross-industry team has come together to make a video where just a small selection of the offensive messages sent to social media and customer contact centre colleagues are read out. The video then powerfully describes the impact the words have on those who received them and concludes with an appeal to remember teams are there to help.

The short video is part of the industry-first ‘Be Kind’ campaign, introduced by LNER with the launch of ‘Be Kind’ badges. The badges worn by rail colleagues act as a reminder they are people too and request kindness. Other train operators, including Great Western Railway, TransPennine Express and South Western Railway soon joined the campaign. Now more than half of UK train operators are involved, with more set to follow.

‘Be Kind’ supports both frontline, visible colleagues and those who work behind the scenes communicating with customers via social media and email. Train operators have found that when delays or cancellations happen, social media teams are very often on the receiving end of upsetting and hurtful messages and abuse.

We’ve all experienced a time when travel plans are unexpectedly altered, and we understand it can be disappointing and frustrating. But it’s never acceptable to vent that frustration by being abusive or insulting, whether to someone’s face or over a keyboard. The ‘Be Kind’ campaign aims to humanise rail staff and remind everyone that they are people with feelings too. They’re someone’s mum, dad, daughter, son or partner. They’re people just doing their job and offering help and support. So, we’re asking for respect and kindness towards each other.
LNER’s Internal Communications Manager Penny Bond BEM, who founded the ‘Be Kind’ campaign said:

South Western Railway is proud to add our voice to the ‘Be Kind’ campaign and to highlight the damage that thoughtless and upsetting abuse can cause. Everyone should be able to come to work feeling safe and able to do their job without the fear of being insulted. We’re asking those who travel by rail to be kind and please remember the negative impact abuse can have on our colleagues.
Dan O'Riordan, Head of Security and Safety Assurance for South Western Railway, whose colleagues are among those featured in the video said: