Brew Monday

Today may be ‘Blue Monday’ – thought to be the most difficult day of the year. But Samaritans’ Brew Monday campaign aims to raise spirits by harnessing the uplifting power of a good brew and a chat.

We’re working with the wider rail industry to support the charity in its bid to beat the winter blues. 

Artists with their own mental health challenges have created inspiring pieces, depicting the power of connection. We hope it will encourage rail passengers and staff to reach out to someone they care about and connect over a cuppa.

The third Monday in January is supposedly the most difficult day of the year but Samaritans volunteers know people can find themselves struggling at any time. 

The main concerns volunteers hear from those who contact the charity include mental health and illness (46%), family (34%) and loneliness (28%) all year round.

Samaritans will kick off Brew Monday in our stations today – Monday 17 January 2022 – after last year’s events took place online due to pandemic restrictions.

Hundreds of volunteers will be on hand at their local railway stations, providing tea bags and tips on how to be a better listener to help ensure fewer people struggle alone. They’ll also highlight the importance of reaching out to talk.

We’ll feature artwork on digital screens across our stations to uplift and inspire rail users as pandemic uncertainties continue. You’ll see pieces by Britain’s Got Talent contestant and food artist Nathan Wyburn, former volunteer, illustrator and author James Norbury, and contemporary wellbeing artist Emelie Hryhoruk – who has called Samaritans for support in the past – if you travel through some of Britain’s biggest railway stations.

A larger event will take place at London Waterloo today. Volunteers will join artist Nathan Wyburn, who will create an inspiring Brew Monday art piece live at the station using coffee and biscuits.

Workers at Waterloo station gather for a previous Brew Monday Samaritans campaign.

Having suffered with anxiety, panic attacks and bouts of depression for many years, I know first-hand how difficult it can be to do anything in those moments, let alone talk – but take it from me, once you open up about how you’re feeling, it can be life-changing. 

I’m so proud to be supporting Brew Monday and really hope my coffee art catches someone’s eye and makes them think to pick up the phone to a friend. You never know just how much a simple conversation could help someone.

Nathan Wyburn, Artist
Artwork Credit: Nathan Wyburn
Artwork Credit: Emelie Hryhoruk
Artwork Credit: James Norbury

Looking after our passengers and staff is so important to our railway family and I know there is more we can all do to help those in crisis. Every one of us has the skills to help someone in need and Brew Monday is a powerful reminder of the simple steps we can take.

I am really pleased we are once again able to join Samaritans in our stations to reach out to commuters and those who may be struggling with their mental health.

Andrew Haines, chief executive of Network Rail

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.

Julie Bentley, chief executive of Samaritans

Find out more on the Samaritans website or join the conversation on social media using #BrewMonday

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