Greater Anglia shows support for Samaritans’ Small Talk Saves Lives campaign

Published on: Friday, 23 February 2024
Last updated: Friday, 23 February 2024

Samaritans’ Small Talk Saves Lives campaign launches as 1 in 2 of us admit to swerving someone we don’t know to avoid small talk.

Train operator Greater Anglia is reminding the public that small talk can save lives, and that people are better at it than they think, as part of the charity’s latest Small Talk Saves Lives campaign.

New research from Samaritans reveals 49% of people have avoided engaging with someone they don’t know due to the fear of having to make small talk – with over 1 in 5 (22%) worried we would say the wrong thing.

Furthermore, although 94% of people say they don’t have a go-to question to start small talk, Samaritans found across Great Britain 80% of us state we have used small talk in our personal lives over the past month, and over half of us (52%) often or always use small talk in our professional lives too.

Delivered in partnership with Network Rail, British Transport Police, and the wider rail industry, Small Talk Saves Lives empowers the public to trust their instincts and gives them the confidence to start a conversation if they think someone needs help in railway stations and other public settings – small talk is no small thing, it saves lives.

The campaign reassures the public a little small talk like ‘do you know where I can grab a cuppa?’ can be all it takes to interrupt someone’s suicidal thoughts and remind them support is available.

Although people might worry that you’ll say the wrong thing, Samaritans says saying something is better than saying nothing.

Samaritans’ volunteers will be joined by Greater Anglia staff at stations across the network over the coming weeks, speaking to passengers about the campaign, highlighting the power of talking and providing myth-busting leaflets to help ease any concerns they may have.

Events will be held at:

Date Time Location
24 February 11.00-13.00 Harlow Mill
27 February 07.00-09.00 Harlow Town
29 February 06.00-08.00 Marks Tey
29 February


7 March 07.00-09.00 Bishops Stortford
9 March 11.00-13.00


12 March 07.00-09.00 Cheshunt
15 March 10.30-16.30 Diss Town Centre - Take 5 Coffee Shop, Market Place, Diss
16 March 11.00-13.00 Stansted Mountfitchet

Samaritans CEO Julie Bentley said: "Every day, there are people across Great Britain who are in distress and need support. Our Small Talk Saves Lives campaign empowers people to trust their instincts and have the confidence to act in a way that could save a life.”

Georgia Payne, Greater Anglia Safeguarding and Trespass Prevention Lead, said: “We are proud to be working in partnership with Samaritans again on this important campaign to help raise awareness of the power of small talk.

“This campaign is so important because it empowers people to trust their instincts and have the confidence to act, because it could save a life.

“The rail industry knows how important Samaritans’ work is and we look forward to welcoming their wonderful volunteers into our stations over the next four weeks.”

For more information and tips, visit or join the conversation on social media using #SmallTalkSavesLives