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Thrive LDN launches wellbeing ‘grab bags’ across DLR network to support customer interventions

James Ludley

Thrive LDN, London’s public mental health partnership, in collaboration with Transport for London’s (TfL) DLR service, has introduced wellbeing grab bags across the network for staff to have on hand when intervening with vulnerable customers.


In total, 100 bags are being distributed across the DLR network which in the year 2022/23 saw 93 million passenger journeys and is operated by franchisee KeolisAmey Docklands (KAD) on TfL’s behalf.


Bags will be available to support operational staff in their day-to-day management of the service when intervening to help vulnerable people.


Designed by Thrive LDN, the bags have been introduced to provide practical support to those in need as well as aiding staff in signposting to wider support services, from mental health to financial concerns.

The launch of the grab bags on the DLR network is part of an ongoing partnership between Thrive LDN and TfL to support the wellbeing of Londoners using the network. The DLR network rollout follows a successful pilot and full network rollout across London Underground last year.

The grab bags help bring together into one place a range of practical things, such as foil blankets, alongside mental health literature and guidance, such as Thrive LDN’s wellbeing cards and a First Hand witness to suicide support booklet. The bags also contain printed information about London’s digital wellbeing service, Good Thinking, and postcards outlining the local number for NHS urgent mental health helplines for young people and their families in London.

Grab bags initiative West Ham DLR

Tom Page, TfL’s General Manager for DLR, said: “The health, safety and wellbeing of our customers is immensely important to us so the launch of the DLR’s grab bag initiative is really welcomed. These have been delivered in partnership with Thrive LDN and will prove essential when our operational staff are supporting vulnerable customers. Their introduction follows a successful trial on the London Underground.

“Spotting passengers in difficulty or emotional distress is a key role our operational staff carry out every day. Having the bags on hand when making an intervention will mean that staff can make sure customers are getting relevant support for their wellbeing or they are better able to outline where to go for further support and care.”

Thrive LDN director, Dan Barrett, said: “We recognise that London’s transport workers are dealing with various issues when intervening with vulnerable customers, particularly right now as pressures of increased cost-of-living are being felt by many Londoners and communities. The contents within the grab bags will help staff to signpost people to a range of relevant support and professional help, from wellbeing to personal finance and difficulty services.

“We know from the success of the bags on the London Underground network that they are assisting station staff in both situations which require immediate response, and those where signposting to other services may be necessary.”

The use of the bags will be monitored by DLR’s customer and operations team.

The rollout of out the grab bags across the DLR network coincides with wider initiatives across the TfL network. From 19 April to 26 May 2023, the Mayor of London alongside TfL, London Borough of Newham and Whole Foods launched a wellbeing station pilot, taking place at three stations – West Ham, Beckton and Custom House.

The wellbeing station initiative is highlighting how good mental wellbeing and physical health go hand-in-hand by showcasing the little things Londoners can do every day or healthy swaps which can be made to improve our wellbeing.

Additionally, TfL also remains a strong supporter of the #ZeroSuicideLDN campaign launched by the Mayor of London in 2019, to promote free, online suicide prevention training. Elsewhere, in April more than 550 wellbeing posters were installed across the London Underground network to support young Londoners’ wellbeing.

Seb Dance, Deputy Mayor for Transport said: “Early intervention when someone is having a mental health crisis can be lifesaving, and it’s not just mental health professionals who can help when they see somebody struggling. I’m pleased that these grab bags will now be available for DLR staff to support customers with their emotional wellbeing and help build a better, safer London for everyone.”