Monday 17 Jan 2022
Network Rail and GTR support Samaritans’ Brew Monday in Stevenage
- Network Rail, GTR and Samaritans have teamed up at Stevenage station for Brew Monday (17 January)
- Volunteers offered teabags and spoke to station users about the importance of reaching out
Network Rail has teamed up with Samaritans volunteers and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) workers at Stevenage station to encourage passengers to talk over a cuppa this Brew Monday (17 January).
Volunteers offered teabags and spoke to Stevenage station users, including key workers and rail staff, about the importance of reaching out. The Brew Monday support comes as part of the rail industry’s suicide prevention programme and partnership with Network Rail.
Louise Cox, Head of Safety, Health and Environment for Network Rail’s East Coast route, said: “We’re proud to be joining GTR and the wider rail industry in supporting Samaritans’ Brew Monday once again. After a tough few years, it’s more important than ever that we take the time to connect with others – whether that’s a cuppa with a colleague or a friendly chat with a fellow passenger.
“Our longstanding partnership has helped thousands of colleagues learn how to use small talk to save lives.”
Whilst the third Monday in January is sometimes referred to as ‘the most difficult day of the year’, the charity is highlighting that there’s no such thing as ‘Blue Monday’ as Samaritans volunteers hear similar concerns all year round from those that contact the charity. The main concerns include mental health and illness (46%), family (34%) and loneliness (28%) *.
Samaritans has worked in partnership with the rail industry and British Transport Police (BTP) to reduce suicides on the railway for over 10 years, having trained over 24,000 rail and BTP staff to look out for passengers and make conversation if they feel someone might be vulnerable.
Samaritans CEO Julie Bentley said: “We’re so grateful to the rail industry for their support of Brew Monday again this year. Throughout the various lockdowns and restrictions, the pandemic has shown us that staying connected with others has been a vital part of getting people through difficult times. We know the impact talking and listening can have, and a cup of tea and a chat won’t solve everything, but it can be a start. You don’t have to have all the answers or solutions, you just need to listen and start a conversation which could just be the support that someone needs.”
Samantha Facey, Head of Zero Harm at GTR says: “The last two years have been incredibly tough for many of us. A cup of tea and a chat might seem simple, but it can make a huge difference to someone who is vulnerable or struggling.
“January can be a difficult time for many, with festive celebrations over and the weather turning colder, which is why we feel it is so important for us to reach out to passengers and those travelling through GTR stations. We are also encouraging our colleagues to share a cuppa together and check in on each another over the winter period.”
Notes to Editors
*From December 2020 – November 2021, 46% of contacts that reached out to Samaritans for emotional support mentioned mental health and illness, 34% mentioned family and 28% mentioned loneliness as a concern.
- Anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. This number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can email email@example.com or visit samaritans.org.
- Every day, Samaritans volunteers respond to around 10,000 calls for help.
- Samaritans is a charity and it’s the public’s kind donations and more than 20,000 volunteers that mean we are always there for anyone struggling to cope. Find out how you can support us or volunteer with us.
- You can follow Samaritans on social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
- Samaritans has worked in partnership with Network Rail and the wider rail industry since 2010 to reduce suicides on the railway and support those affected by them. Samaritans has trained over 24,000 rail and BTP staff in suicide prevention and runs awareness campaigns to encourage the public and their staff to start a conversation and recognise the power of human connection to help save lives.
- When reporting on suicide, please bear in mind Samaritans’ Media Guidelines. For further advice, contact the Media Advisory team on 07483 028725/07850 312224 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- All station events are within current Government guidelines and subject to last-minute changes
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