P&O Ferries has today announced it is a JAM Card friendly business.

The Just a Minute (JAM) Card is a pioneering initiative developed by the NOW Group, a social enterprise supporting people with learning difficulties and autism.

It provides holders with the means of telling others in a simple, effective, non-verbal and discreet way that they need Just a Minute of patience and it is now widely used by people with various communication barriers. There are currently over 12,000 JAM Card users across Northern Ireland.

P&O Ferries has trained fifty members of staff who work throughout the Port of Larne and on board P&O Ferries ships sailing between Larne and Cairnryan to recognise the JAM Card and to help those customers using it to ensure they enjoy the same first class customer service as everyone else.

Laura Gilmour, Port Manager for P&O Ferries in Larne said: “We carry over 500,000 passengers between Larne and Cairnryan each year and we continuously look for ways to improve our customer service for all those traveling with us. We are delighted to have become a JAM Card friendly business, ensuring that our staff can support all of our customers throughout their journey when they travel with P&O Ferries.”

Diane Hill, Director of Business Development at NOW Group says: “We’re very excited to welcome P&O Ferries as a JAM Card friendly organisation. By taking part in the training their staff have demonstrated their commitment to providing excellent service to all customers regardless of their ability. Feedback from JAM Card users shows they feel more confident and less anxious accessing services when they have the card or app with them; these users will be delighted to know P&O Ferries staff now welcome the card.”

Judith Robinson, is an ambassador for the Northern Ireland Chest, Heart & Stroke, P&O Ferries’ Health & Wellbeing partner in Larne, and a JAM Card holder after recently suffering from a stroke. Judith welcomes the training that P&O Ferries staff have now received: “Since suffering from a stroke I had to learn how to walk and talk again. Having a JAM Card gives me the confidence to discreetly let staff know when I need some extra time.  It’s a great comfort and reassuring to know that I can travel on P&O Ferries with a fully trained and understanding staff both at the port and on board.”

Fiona Greene, Northern Ireland Chest, Heart & Stroke Director of Care, said; “We are delighted that one of our partners is not only looking after the health and wellbeing of their staff, but also for the wider local community.  P&O Ferries is doing this by raising awareness of JAM Cards and training its staff to ensure passengers who need some extra time to communicate, receive a first class service at its Larne port.  Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke is working with P&O Ferries on a range of initiatives, and we are also moving forward with exciting possibilities with the NOW Group who designed these invaluable tools.”

To find out more about the JAM Card initiative, check out their website jamcard.org

PICTURE CAPTION: Steph Ellis from NI Chest Heart Stroke, Jenny Potter from Now Group, Judith Robinson from JAM card user/stroke survivor and Catherine Lee from P&O Ferries

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