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Autism awareness training for frontline staff

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Great Western Railway (GWR) has provided bespoke autism awareness to its 3,500 frontline staff.

The train operator has not previously included special requirements for those living with autism but has done so with the help of charity Anna Kennedy Online to help its staff better meet customers’ needs.

There are around 700,000 people in the UK living with autism, which causes distress and anxiety around such issues as processing information but also the need for structure and reassurance.

GWR said that this programme is improving how it delivers customer service, emphasising the need for a tailored and personalised service for all customers.

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Watch Austin Hughes, who lives with autism and developed GWR’s awareness training programme, discuss the challenges of travelling with the condition. 

Charity founder Anna Kennedy said: “As a parent of two young men, travelling by train this has always been a difficult experience due to my youngest son who has significant sensory issues.

“Whistles blowing, crowded and noisy stations, doors banging; it can be a bit full-on and cause him anxiety. By sharing information with all staff this will hopefully help create a less stressful journey.”

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