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Northern set to recruit as many as 280 drivers and conductors across the North of England in 2023

TRAIN operator, Northern, is looking to recruit as many as 280 drivers and conductors across the North of England in 2023. New recruits will join the team responsible for running Northern's more than 2,500 services a day to more than 500 stations and are being recruited as part of a natural replenishment of the workforce as other team members retire, earn promotion or move on to the next stage of their career outside Northern. Both roles require no previous rail experience, with full training at Northern's academies in Leeds and Manchester provided.

The driver roles, which are based in:- Carlisle, Darlington, Hull, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield, Skipton and York, come with a starting salary of £23,000 a year, rising to £54,500 once fully qualified.

The conductor roles are based in:- Carlisle, Doncaster, Harrogate, Huddersfield, Hull, Leeds, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Sheffield, Skipton and York, with salaries starting at £22,000, rising to £29,000 once fully qualified.

More information and details of how to register for recruitment alerts can be found at:- NorthernRailway.Co.UK.

Tricia Williams, Chief Operating Officer at Northern, said:- "These are fantastic roles for anyone passionate about helping connect people and places across the Region. We'll be recruiting throughout the year, so people should register for job alerts on our website."

With such a large employee intake on the horizon, Northern is actively encouraging women to apply as part of a push to improve the male-female balance of its workforce. They are also seeking to attract more applicants from under-represented ethnicities to ensure they reflect the communities Northern serves.

Williams added:- "The rail industry has made great strides in many areas of diversity in recent years, but there is still much to be done. Drivers and conductors represent a huge proportion of our workforce - if we can attract more people from a wider range of ethnicities and women into these roles, that'll make a real difference."

Central to Northern's recruitment campaign is a plan to attract the best and brightest candidates from other sectors who hadn't previously considered the rail industry.

Citing some of the interesting career histories of its 2021/22 intake, Williams said:- "Some of the people at the control of our trains today started their career in the prison service, as cabin crew, as social care workers, in a veterinary practice and at least 1 as a wedding planner! No one should think either of these roles:- 'isn't for them' the railway has much to offer."

Northern is now operating a new timetable. All customers, especially those who have made regular journeys on the same train times, are advised to use the new 'Check My Timetable' feature on its website to see the changes specific to their local station.

Social prescribing service 'massive help' to young Southport man experiencing anxiety and depression

SOUTHPORT resident Danny, aged 26, was experiencing anxiety and depression when he found the NHS social prescribing service in Sefton. He shares his story and encourages others to reach out and use the service if they need help. Social prescribing is designed to help people with their health and wellbeing by linking them in with local services for practical, social, physical and emotional support. After having feelings of anxiety and depression, Danny spoke to his GP and was referred to the service. Danny said:- "The social prescribing service is amazing. It's not something I had ever heard of, but honestly, without Damian and the service, I don't think I would have managed to get to where I am now, which is feeling a lot better than I have been."

After the initial referral, social prescribing link worker Damian contacted Danny and they began having regular chats to talk about his mental wellbeing issues and which local services might help him. Danny continued:- "There are a few ideas that he thought could benefit me, the 1st 1 was the Southport Park Run. After doing it with Damian 2 or 3 times, I have been back myself since and I have finished it on my own. After being in the mindset that I have been in, you don't tend to think you can do things like that, you're always putting yourself down., but once you actually do it, and you've finished it, the feeling is really great. You feel so accomplished. I'm proud of myself that I managed to do it. It's that personal connection which really helps. They do make you feel very safe, and like you can tell them anything. It's honestly been a massive help to me."

Nikki Williams, Senior Social Prescribing Link Worker in Southport and Formby said:- "Social prescribing is about working with people on wider health and wellbeing needs, so non-medical issues that may be going on in their life, having a chat with them to work out what their priorities are for change, and then linking them in to the appropriate service. Social prescribing can cover social isolation, linking people into community groups and getting out and meeting people, but it can also be practical information and referring into specialist services around housing, benefits and support to get back to work. I think everybody can benefit from social prescribing. If you're feeling anxious, depressed, or lonely and think a social prescriber could help you, then contact your GP practice and ask about the service to get help with your wellbeing."

The social prescribing service in Southport and Formby is a collaboration between Sefton CVS and Southport and Formby Primary Care Network.

In Southport and Formby, people can be referred to the social prescribing service by anyone in their GP practice. People can find out more about their social prescribing service and how to access it by talking to their GP practice.

For more information about social prescribing, visit the NHS website:- England.NHS.UK.

Find out more about Southport and Formby Primary Care Network:- SouthportFormbyPCN.NHS.UK.

Find out more about Sefton CVS:- SeftonCVS.Org.UK.

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