Monday 17 Jan 2022
Volunteers at Birmingham New Street for Brew Monday cuppa
Samaritans volunteers will be at Birmingham New Street station today (Monday 17 January) as part of the charity’s Brew Monday campaign.
Network Rail is once again joining the effort to encourage passengers and railway staff to share a cuppa and a catch up with someone they care about.
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 people can feel a range of emotions any day of the year.
Although winter is thought to be one of the harder seasons with dark days and frosty nights, Samaritans volunteers hear similar concerns all year round from those who contact them.
The main concerns include mental health and illness (46%), family (34%) and loneliness (28%)*.
Today volunteers will be on Birmingham New Street’s concourse offering teabags and talking to passengers about the importance of reaching out and talking.
Patrick Power, head of stations for Network Rail’s Central route, said: “We’re really proud to be supporting Samaritans’ Brew Monday campaign again this year and spreading this important message to our passengers. Samaritans has worked in partnership with Network Rail and the wider rail industry for over 10 years encouraging the public and our staff to recognise the power of human connection and start a conversation which could save a life. So, we’re putting that into practice this Brew Monday and saying out with the blue and in with the brew!”
Julie Bentley, Samaritans’ CEO, 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.”
The charity has also come together with artists with their own mental health challenges to create inspiring artwork depicting the power of connection, drawn from their own experiences.
In a bid to uplift and inspire rail users in these uncertain times, artwork by Britain’s Got Talent contestant and food artist Nathan Wyburn, former volunteer, illustrator and author James Norbury, and contemporary wellbeing artist Emelie Hryhoruk, who has called Samaritans for support in the past, will be featured on Birmingham New Street station’s digital screens.
The Brew Monday support comes as part of the rail industry’s suicide prevention programme and partnership with Network Rail.
Samaritans has worked in partnership with the rail industry and British Transport Police 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.
Notes to Editors
Media can attend on the day by contacting media manager Chris Halpin in advance on 07740 782954 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*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 www.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.
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About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.