Volunteers from Horsham and Crawley Samaritans are getting people listening this summer, and will be at Horsham Station on Tuesday 24 July.
It’s all part of a nationwide push, called The Big Listen, to raise funds for Samaritans and show how really listening to another person can be the first step to saving a life.
A number of volunteers from the local branch will be at the station in Horsham from 7am – 9 am, and then again 5pm – 7pm. The team aims to raise awareness of the importance of helping someone talk through their problems, by really listening to them.
The Big Listen activity, up and down the country, will culminate in a marathon 24-hour event, kicking off at midday on 24 July (24/7), chosen to reflect the availability of Samaritans’ emotional support services 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.
Volunteer, Jacqui Clark, from Samaritans’ branch in Denne Road Horsham said: “As many as 1 in 5 adults have thought about taking their own life at some point.* When people feel like that, they need to be able to talk about it, which means they need people to listen.
“As Samaritans volunteers, we know how much listening to someone at a low point can help them feel less alone. It makes them more able to deal with difficult thoughts and feelings, and gives them the time and space to reflect and move on.
“Not everyone will feel ready or able to talk to family, friends or colleagues, but the more we promote what good listening is, and how you encourage others to talk, the more we hope people will open up to someone they trust, before they reach crisis point. With The Big Listen, we’re asking people to give, share and save a life.”
Funds raised by The Big Listen will help Samaritans keep its services free for anyone who needs them, as well as helping to recruit, train and support volunteers, and run local branches across the UK.
There are lots of ways to get involved in The Big Listen: make a donation, learn about listening, or plan your own fundraising event. Find out more at: www.samaritans.org/media-
You can follow #TheBigListen @samaritans on Twitter, @samaritanscharity on Instagram, or via Samaritans’ facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/
*NHS Digital Survey of Mental Health & Wellbeing (September 2016). A fifth of adults (21%) reported that they had thought of taking their life at some point.