Samaritans harness power of tea at Banbury railway station

A British Transport Police officer joined Davina Birkbeck from Banbury Samaritans at the Brew Monday stand at Banbury railway station NNL-180116-162756001
A British Transport Police officer joined Davina Birkbeck from Banbury Samaritans at the Brew Monday stand at Banbury railway station NNL-180116-162756001

Banbury and District Samaritans were at the town’s railway station on Monday to counter what is dubbed the ‘most depressing day of the year’ with tea.

They offered free teabags to encourage people to connect with each other and take time to chat with someone who may be having a difficult time, in what they called ‘Brew Monday’.

Commuters could get a free cup of tea and a listening ear at the station NNL-180116-162726001

Commuters could get a free cup of tea and a listening ear at the station NNL-180116-162726001

Organiser Davina Birkbeck said: “I was so glad that we got involved in this campaign – one of Samaritans’ main aims is to encourage people to seek help before they reach a crisis, and offering teabags was a good way of highlighting the first step – chatting to other people and asking how they are and then actually listening to the answer.

“I hope that we also brightened up the day for some passengers, as a free teabag is not something you are offered every day of the year.”

Samaritans chief executive Ruth Sutherland added: “People need people, they will never stop needing them and listening and giving each other time is one thing we can resolve to do in 2018 that makes a big difference. A cup of tea and a chat is a first step.”

You can call Samaritans for free any time from any phone on 116 123 (the call will not appear on your bill), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit Banbury and District Samaritans at 33 Albert Street, Banbury.