Rail staff in Ipswich and Stowmarket to help Samaritans launch Brew Monday with free teabags tomorrow

Investment in three new street sweepers will see a larger area of the town covered - reaching Ipswic

Investment in three new street sweepers will see a larger area of the town covered - reaching Ipswich Railway Station. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Rail staff across the region are backing a campaign by the Samaritans which aims to turn ‘Blue Monday’ into ‘Brew Monday’ to encourage people to talk about their feelings.

Blue Monday, which falls on the third Monday of January, has been dubbed the most difficult day of the year as people begin to feel the effects of overspending at Christmas and the lull in festivities.

In a bid to combat the blues, rail staff will join members of the Samaritans at railway stations in Ipswich and Stowmarket this morning to encourage people to ‘connect over a cuppa’ by offering free tea bags and listening tips, as well as promoting the services run by the charity.

A spokesman for the Samaritans volunteer branch said: “We‘re pleased 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 at 140 St Helen’s St, Ipswich, IP4 2LE.”

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Brew Monday has gained the backing of Network Rail, British Transport Police and the wider rail industry, and follows on from a partnership between the groups which aims to reduce suicide on the railway.

Ian Stevens, from Network Rail and who leads the Suicide Prevention Programme, said: “Brew Monday is a great opportunity to use our partnership with Samaritans to reach out to people who may be struggling at this time of year and encourage them to open up and have a chat.

“Rail staff will be out in force alongside Samaritans volunteers in railway stations up and down the country to reach out to friends and loved ones over a cup of tea, rather than letting them suffer in silence.”

Rail staff and Samaritans will be on hand at the two stations between 6am and 9am this morning.

For more information on Brew Monday or the services that Samaritans provide, follow @samaritans on Twitter, @samaritanscharity on Instagram, hashtag

#BrewMonday or visit www.samaritans.org