Yorkshire stations back Samaritans campaign to show how small talk can save lives: Small Talk Saves Lives-11

Tuesday 21 Feb 2023

Yorkshire stations back Samaritans campaign to show how small talk can save lives

Region & Route:
| Eastern: North & East
  • Wakefield, Hull and Harrogate stations are among those supporting Samaritans’ Small Talk Saves Lives campaign with events to empower passengers to start a conversation if they see someone who needs help
  • Only around 50% of people in Yorkshire feel confident approaching someone they are concerned about in public
  • New campaign film launches today to reassure the public that a little small talk like ‘where can I get a coffee?’ can set someone on a path to recovery

Wakefield, Hull and Harrogate are among stations backing Samaritans’ latest campaign, with volunteers on hand this February and March to show passengers how a little small talk could save someone’s life.

The new Small Talk Saves Lives campaign comes after new research from Samaritans revealed that just 52% of people in Yorkshire would feel confident approaching and speaking to someone they don’t know if they were concerned about them in public.

People in Yorkshire thought that the best ways to strike up conversation with a stranger would be:

  • Give them a smile (40%)
  • Say ‘Excuse me’ (30%)
  • Make eye contact (23%)
  • Ask a question (22%)
  • Make a comment about the weather (20%)

Network Rail and Samaritans volunteers will be on hand at events throughout February and March to speak to passengers about the new campaign, highlight the power of conversation and provide myth busting leaflets to give people the confidence to approach people who might need help.

Volunteers will be at:

  • Leeds station on Friday 24 February
  • Doncaster station on Saturday 25 February
  • Harrogate station on Saturday 25 February
  • Wakefield station on Monday 6 March
  • Hull station on Tuesday 7 March

Maxine Joicey, Customer Experience Manager for Network Rail’s North and East route said: “We’re really proud to be working alongside Samaritans volunteers to empower our passengers to look out for one another and have the confidence to strike up a conversation if someone needs support.

“If you’re travelling through one of the stations, please stop and have a chat with our volunteers.”

Samaritans is launching an emotional new campaign film today (Tuesday 21 February) in partnership with Network Rail, British Transport Police and the wider rail industry to reassure the public that a little small talk like ‘where can I get a coffee?’ can be all it takes to interrupt someone’s suicidal thoughts and help set them on a path to recovery.

Julie Bentley, Samaritans CEO said: “It’s normal to feel anxious about starting a conversation with someone you don’t know in person, but at Samaritans we know first-hand how life-changing that conversation could be. Suicidal thoughts are often temporary and there’s no evidence to suggest that you will make the situation worse – it’s about trusting your instincts, starting a conversation, and showing you care.

“We know it’s been a really challenging time for people’s mental health over the last few years, so we hope the Small Talk Saves Lives campaign builds that confidence and remind the public of the difference they can make. Let’s continue to look out for one another – it could save a life.”

For more information and tips, visit Samaritans.org/smalltalksaveslives or join the conversation on social media using #SmallTalkSavesLives


Notes to Editors

A press pack is available at http://www.samaritans.org/stslpress.

About the research:

The research was conducted by Censuswide with 2,004 Nationally Representative UK General Consumers (16+) between 03.01.2023 - 05.01.2023. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles and are members of The British Polling Council.

Samaritans and Small Talk Saves Lives:

  • A brand-new campaign film launches today (21 February) across digital and social media, showing the difference people could make if they listen to their instincts and overcome initial worries that may come to mind if they see someone who needs help.
  • Due to the proven link between certain types of media reporting of suicide and increases in suicide rates, please be mindful of Samaritans’ Media Guidelines for Reporting Suicide and Rail Suicide.
  • In partnership with Network Rail, Samaritans has trained over 27,000 rail staff and British Transport Police in suicide prevention, enabling them to identify and support vulnerable people to safety. This is part of the charity’s long-standing partnership with the rail industry to reduce suicides and support those affected by them.
  • 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 visit www.samaritans.org

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Louise Leighton
Media Relations Manager
Network Rail
07858 375508

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