Banbury rail passengers asked to help Small Talk Saves Lives campaign

Davina Birkbeck of The Samaritans, at Banbury Station. NNL-171114-130744009
Davina Birkbeck of The Samaritans, at Banbury Station. NNL-171114-130744009

Volunteers at the Banbury and District branch of The Samaritans will be at Banbury station next week as part of an attempt to help prevent suicide on the railways.

The volunteers’ efforts are part of a nationwide campaign called Small Talk Saves Lives.

“We will be at Banbury station next Thursday and Friday, November 23 and 24 giving out cards to members of the public on how to engage with someone who might be at risk,” said branch outreach officer Davina Birkbeck.

The campaign seeks to encourage the public to have the confidence to intervene if they see someone in distress, with the aim of reducing suicide on the railways and generally.

“It will show that people don’t have to be trained experts to save a life; they just need to trust their instinct, with examples of how to recognise someone in distress and suggesting simple conversation starters that could interrupt suicidal thoughts,” said Ms Birkbeck.

“We would all like to be able to reach out and help another person if they appear in need, but it can be scary knowing what to do or say.

“We hope these cards may give ordinary people the confidence to act and possibly to save a life, especially on the railways. So if you see us in our bright green Samaritans tabards, please take a card and see what you think”.

“We saw over 1,500 lifesaving interventions on the rail network last year, of which 143 were credited to members of the public,” said Ms Birkbeck.

Banbury Samaritans are available on 01295 270 000.

Alternatively call 116 123 (national freefone) or email jo@samaritans.org. See www.samaritans.org for more detail.