I remember when I was at young there used to be a novel that was on my reading list when I was at secondary school. It was called “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” I was always intrigued as why exactly long distance running should assume people to be lonely. The premise for loneliness was one of isolation where people can be in theory, surrounded by other human beings but there is no contact, you can live next door to people and have absolutely no contact what so ever. On the other hand the long distance runner had chosen to go solo and actually seem in my head anyway to enjoy the isolation.
Being a professional driver is a stressful and challenging job, I thank my blessings that I do not have to get up at God knows what time of the day or night and drive on today’s heavily congested and polluted roads, fighting to deliver public services on time to passengers is a tough ask. In addition for those hardy souls who keep the shelves filled at our shops and supermarkets they also live day to day life by trying to ensure that they deliver on time. If not it can take ages to claim a spot for delivery which then knocks on to everything else. Yes no doubt about it being a delivery driver is not by any means an easy job, be it DHL, Amazon, or one of the many others who have replaced people going shopping as they make their purchases 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days of the year, these are real people doing their best to deliver whatever it is that you need.
I always get the impression when I get an Amazon delivery these guys are literally watching the clock, sign and begone I have no time for small talk i have got deliveries to make. Yes no doubt about it a thankless task for minimum wage and for many at zero hour contracts, so no security or cover if you become sick or incapacitated. However, you could argue that at least these people are out and about having interaction, sadly there are very many who do not have that and can become prisoners in their own homes, especially amongst the elderly and single. The Ford motor group recently launched a TV advertising campaign about how to spot the symptoms of early stage mental health, the theme is looking out for your mate and it cleverly features two blokes sat in transit van and between them is the head of a massive elephant. This is indicative of simply asking your mate if he or she is alright if you notice subtle changes in behaviour. Introvert behaviour, sullen and listless demeanour, basically people not quite being themselves.
Often there is the good old British stiff upper lip tendency to just so no all is fine, don’t want to make a fuss and all that. Whereas in reality people just need someone to talk to, or to get a bit of help. Mental well being is absolutely essential and it is vital that systems are in play that help detect and guide those of us who might need the right help to go out and get it. After all we all suffer at some point in life with stress and challenge it is perfectly normal. And that is exactly why we are hosting a driver well being conference on November 6th at a very plush venue at TFL Stratford, we have an excellent line up of presenters and some really topical and relevant subjects so if you are interested in attending just contact Mrs Ana Walker at CILT at Corby or go on the CILT website. Fit To Drive, Stay Alive, is what the conference is called and that sums it up nicely. See you there I hope.