As a part of MND Awareness Week, Scotrail Managing Director, Alex Hynes, had the opportunity to meet with MND patient Alison McDonald - a wheelchair user - to discuss the Customer Assist programme. The programme aims to make ScotRail services fully accessible for people with MND and other conditions.
Last year, the ScotRail Alliance helped facilitate just under 85,000 assisted journeys, booked through its website. Many more unscheduled customers are assited by ScotRail staff on a day-to-day basis, with everything from luggage handling, to local directions and support to board and alight from trains.
The ScotRail Alliance chose MND Scotland as its official charity partner in March 2017 and the partnership will last until 2020.
During the three-year partnership, ScotRail’s 7500 staff will take part in sponsored abseils, skydives and dress-down days to help raise awareness of the condition and its devastating impact on families and people who are affected. ScotRail will also open up a selection of stations to MND Scotland fundraisers.
Alex Hynes said: “I admire and support MND Scotland’s work and give my full backing to our three-year partnership which has already started delivering for the charity and its work.
“Part of this support is making our rail services accessible for as many customers as possible and this includes those who may need a bit more help to travel on our trains. I want Scotland’s railway to be the best it’s ever had and making it accessible for all is a big part in delivering that excellence.”
Craig Stockton, CEO of MND Scotland, added: “It’s fantastic to be working so closely with the ScotRail Alliance and to have the opportunity to improve and promote accessible train travel across Scotland.
“Losing your independence can be one of the most difficult things to come to terms with after a diagnosis of MND and we will continue to do what we can to enable people with the illness to maintain their independence and ability to travel for as long as possible.
“We are very excited about the partnership and all of the different activities ScotRail Alliance staff and customers will be able to get involved in over the next three years, as well as the awareness we can raise across the country.”
Alex Hynes, ScotRail Managing Director
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