Greater Anglia gets on board for Samaritans’ brew Monday

Monday, 17 January 2022
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Exterior of Cambridge station
Cambridge railway station. Credit: Greater Anglia

  • Rail industry joins charity to encourage rail users, including key workers and staff to have a cuppa and a catch up with those they care about as the charity’s annual campaign launches
  • Greater Anglia station staff join Norwich, Ely and Cambridge volunteers on Monday 17 January providing tea bags for Brew Monday

In a bid to power through the cold winter months, Greater Anglia has joined Samaritans to encourage rail users, including key workers and rail staff to share a cuppa and a catch up with someone they care about for Brew Monday on 17 January.

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 that contact the charity. The main concerns include mental health and illness (46 per cent), family (34 per cent) and loneliness (28 per cent)*.

To ensure nobody struggles alone, on Brew Monday or any other day, Samaritans and Greater Anglia are reminding everyone to check in on friends, family or colleagues. It doesn’t need to be a Monday or a cup of tea, it’s about connecting and really listening to each other.

On Monday 17 January, Greater Anglia staff will be joining Samaritans volunteers at Cambridge, Cambridge North and Ely stations to hand out teabags and talk to passengers about the importance of reaching out and talking. Samaritans volunteers will be at the stations between 7am-9am and again between 5pm-7pm. Volunteers from Norwich Samaritans will be at Norwich station between 2pm-6.30pm.

Greater Anglia staff are also invited to take part in a virtual event with Norwich Samaritans to find out more about the charity and learn some important listening tips.

Matt Wakefield, Greater Anglia Head of Safety, Security and Sustainability, said: “We’re really proud to be supporting Samaritans’ Brew Monday campaign at Norwich, Cambridge, Cambridge North and Ely stations and spreading this important message to our passengers. Samaritans has worked in partnership with the wider rail industry for more than 10 years encouraging the public and our staff to recognise the power of human connection and start a conversation which could save a life.”

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 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.

Find out more at samaritans.org/brewmonday or join the conversation on social media using #BrewMonday and why not make a donation while you’re there, you could help save a life.