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NETWORK RAIL AND GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY JOIN SAMARITANS’ BREW MONDAY AT READING RAILWAY STATION

 

NETWORK RAIL AND GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY JOIN SAMARITANS’ BREW MONDAY AT READING RAILWAY STATION

Reading railway station hosted a ‘Brew Monday’ event on 21 January 2019 in a bid to defy the January blues and reach out to anyone who may be lonely and in need of a cuppa and chat.

Samaritans volunteers battled extremely cold weather to spread a bit of warmth by distributing over 5,500 free tea bags to rail passengers and encouraging them to reach out to anyone who may be struggling.

Isolation and loneliness are one of the main reasons people contact Samaritans, so getting together for a brew with friends, family or colleagues can provide a lift on what is meant to be one of the most difficult days of the year.

Samaritans Deputy Chief Executive, Fiona Malcolm said: “We had an incredible day at Reading station and with community events across Great Britain. On a cold morning you could see how much the travelling public really appreciated the warm welcome from Samaritans volunteers. Thank you to Network Rail and the wider rail industry for helping support this important campaign.”

Network Rail’s Western Route Managing Director, Mark Langman joined Samaritans at Reading station: “Brew Monday is a fantastic opportunity for the rail industry to show its support for Samaritans and the great work they do in helping people up and down the country.

"Millions of people use the rail network every day and if - through this campaign - we can encourage them to take a moment to talk to one another during their journeys, we will be making a significant contribution to their lives and to the lives of those around them. Taking the time to stop and have a chat over a cup of tea is a great way to connect with others and can be all it takes to brighten someone’s day.”

Local train operator Great Western Railway (GWR) was also keen to support Samaritans and filmed a short GWR video featuring passenger and staff member thoughts on Brew Monday.  Abu Siddeeq from GWR featured on the video: “Customer reaction has been fantastic, it’s really great to see the smiles on people’s faces. Brew Monday carries a really important message about the importance of a conversation at a difficult time of year and we’re delighted to be able to help Samaritans share this message”.

Reading wasn’t the only station to host a Brew Monday event, more than 150 railway stations across England, Scotland and Wales joined in. Samaritans volunteers handed out Brew Monday tea bags carrying the charity’s free to call 116 123 number and rail staff held events with colleagues too. Brew Monday follows on from Small Talk Saves Lives suicide prevention campaign, which Samaritans launched in 2017 with the British Transport Police and the rail industry.

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