Rail staff across Wales and Borders are backing Samaritans’ bid to turn ‘Blue Monday’ into ‘Brew Monday’ on 15 January, by helping get people together for tea and a chat, on what has been dubbed ‘the most difficult day of the year’.
Network Rail staff, along with colleagues from British Transport Police and Arriva Trains Wales, will be out alongside Samaritans volunteers at Aberystwyth, Rhyl, Wrexham, Bridgend, Shrewsbury and Swansea stations, encouraging people to connect over a cuppa by offering travellers free tea bags and listening tips, as well as promoting Samaritans’ services.
Andy Thomas, route managing director for Network Rail in Wales and Borders said: “Someone attempts to take their own life on the railway every 36 hours and we need to do all we can to combat this shocking statistic. We’ll be joining the Samaritans, Arriva Trains Wales and British Transport Police in railway stations across Wales and Borders on Brew Monday. This is a great opportunity to reach out to people who may be struggling at this time of year and encourage them to open up and have a chat over a cup of tea.”
Joanna Emerson, regional director for Samaritans in Wales and the Marches said: “We’re thrilled to be taking part in Brew Monday. We want to highlight the value of people taking time to chat, rather than going it alone with their thoughts. You don’t need special skills to encourage someone to open up over a cuppa. And, for anyone who feels they have nowhere to turn, our volunteers are there. It’s free to call us from any phone or you can email us or talk to someone face to face at your local branch of Samaritans.”
Inspector Mike Edwards, from British Transport Police (BTP), said: “We know from experience that taking the time out to have a chat and a cuppa can be all it takes to save a life, so we are happy to support any initiative that gets people talking. Passengers, rail staff and shop workers can play their part by stopping and having a chat with someone who might need help. Trust your instincts – simple small talk could set someone on the journey to recovery.”
Tom Joyner, managing director of Arriva Trains Wales, said: “Brew Monday is a brilliant idea and we’re really pleased to support the initiative across our network. Taking five minutes to have a cuppa and to talk over any problems you may have is so important. And thanks to the brilliant and dedicated members of the Samaritans there is always someone out there willing to listen. Unfortunately the railway does see tragedy far too frequently and we know the impact it can have on all those involved. That’s why we are committed to working hard as an industry with Network Rail, the BTP, the Samaritans and the Railway Mission to help people feel they can have a second, third or fourth chance.”
‘Brew Monday’ has the support of Network Rail, British Transport Police, Arriva Trains Wales, and the wider rail industry, thanks to a life-saving partnership with Samaritans that aims to reduce suicide on the railways.