Samaritans to host Brew Monday event next week for public to 'catch up over a cuppa'

By Jessica Durston - 21 January 2022

CharityCommunity

Swindon & District Samaritans are encouraging people to share a cuppa and a catch up with someone they care about at its Brew Monday event.

In a bid to power through the cold winter months, Swindon & District Samaritans will host its Brew Monday event at Great Western Railway’s Swindon Station, with support from Network Rail and the wider rail industry.

Whilst the third Monday in January is sometimes referred to as ‘the most difficult day of the year’, the charity says it wishes to highlight that there is no such thing as ‘Blue Monday’ as people can feel a range of emotions any day of the year.

The S&D Samaritans team say although winter is thought to be one of the harder seasons with dark days and frosty nights, 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%).

A spokesperson from the charity said: "So, to ensure nobody struggles alone, on Brew Monday or any other day, Samaritans is 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."

Volunteers from Swindon & District Samaritans will be joined by station staff at Swindon Station from 09:30 on Monday 24 January in handing out teabags, talking to passengers about the importance of reaching out and providing listening tips.

Volunteer Branch Director, Susie Higgs said: “We’re really looking forward to being at Swindon Station to talk to passengers and are so thankful to the rail industry for their support. As we enter another winter in these difficult times, we are encouraging people to look out for their family, friends and work colleagues and be that listening ear that they might just need. It doesn’t matter if it’s Monday morning or Thursday night, or if you’re drinking lemonade, black coffee or apple juice. If you’re sharing a cup of something and listening, you’re making a difference to someone’s day.”

Danny Matthews, Great Western Railway’s Station Manager added: “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 practise this Brew Monday and saying out with the blue and in with the brew!”

Swindon residents can also organise tea parties, bake offs and events in recognition of Brew Monday and help Swindon & District volunteers continue be there for anyone who needs a listening ear by raising vital funds for Samaritans.

To donate and find other ways you can support Swindon & District Samaritans, please visit www.samaritans.org/branches/swindon or alternatively you can donate by text; to donate £5, text BREWMONDAY 5 to 70490.

Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. Those wishing to give £5 but to not receive marketing communications can text BREWMONDAYNOINFO 5 to 70490.

Members of the public can join the conversation on social media using #BrewMonday. For more information, visit Samaritans.org/BrewMonday

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