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Back on Track Scheme

Back on Track scheme: Image

The aim of the Back on Track project is to deliver a social inclusion programme for National Health Service (NHS) mental health service users in regard to travelling safely on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR). The partnership between Docklands Light Railway and the East London NHS Mental HealthTrust is innovative and ground breaking.

Many people suffering from mental health issues or in recovery from treatment spend their days isolated, excluded from society and lacking in confidence to leave their home and travel on public transport.  This mirrors other excluded groups within the DLR footprint and with which the award winning Keolis Amey Docklands (KAD) Community Ambassador team have proven to be so successful in opening up their lives to using the DLR.

Whilst the DLR does much good in the community, in regard to social inclusion, very little, if anything, was being done for those living with mental health issues in the footprint of the DLR.  We concluded we were failing a whole group within our community. 

No organisation, it is understood, is currently funding a dedicated Community Mental Health Nurse (CMHN), working within their business, actively seeking to enhance the experience of service users within the community from a transport perspective.

We believe that a gap has clearly been identified by Keolis Amey Docklands in regard to the lack of engagement with service users within the mental health care system.

Its proactive approach to mental health is one of social inclusion not seen anywhere else in the rail industry. A number of transport operators do offer mental health awareness packages and trauma support to staff but none actively work within the community to enhance the life experience of service users.

The project is totally in keeping with the Docklands Light Railway’s reputation for accessibility, to facilitate through its now embedded CMHN and the Community Ambassador team, supervised visits to the railway for individuals to help restore their confidence and enable them to travel confidently on the railway.

The process

The Community Health Team will refer the service users directly to our internal nurse who is a registered Community Mental Health Nurse. After an initial discussion with the Community Health team, our nurse will identify the suitability of the person for the project. If the programme is identified to be helpful in supporting the individual recovery, the nurse will set up the process for the individual. At this stage the team will meet the care-coordinator/key-worker and the service users to discuss a training/support plan.

Who are the Community Ambassadors?

The Community Ambassadors scheme has been running for over 10 years. During our face-to-face engagement with the community, we have seen that despite the huge steps already taken there is still a gap when it comes to awareness of mental health and the barriers that people face when using public transport.

Supported by the NHS nurse, the Ambassadors work with ELFT service users and their care-coordinators/key-workers. The bespoke training takes place on the Docklands Light Railway only.

To find out more or take part in the scheme please email

Back on Track scheme: Meet the Team
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