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Samaritans at Rochester and Gravesend stations handing out tea bags for Brew Monday

It may be Blue Monday but a group of Samaritans from Strood are on a mission to get people talking.

Today is reputably the most depressing day associated with the cold weather, low money and lack of motivation since New Year resolutions long went down the drain.

Des McCarthy and Georgina Laurie at Medway, Dartford and Swale Samaritans, in Priory Road, Strood
Des McCarthy and Georgina Laurie at Medway, Dartford and Swale Samaritans, in Priory Road, Strood

Those volunteering for the Samaritans at their branch in Priory Road will be aiming to spread awareness of their work by taking part in the charity's national campaign called Brew Monday.

Today members of the Samaritans in Medway, Gravesham and Swale and Maidstone and Weald,will be at train stations handing out tea bags with the charity's phone number on it.

The idea is that you make a cup of tea and take time to sit and have a chat with someone.

Des McCarthy, director of the branch for Medway, Gravesham and Swale, said: "Samaritans for the last four or five years have been trying to make it Brew Monday and we go to train stations at commuter time and hand out tea bags.

"People sit on the train, look at what they have been given and think 'that's quite nice' and reflect on things."

Samaritans will be chatting to commuters at Rochester's railway station
Samaritans will be chatting to commuters at Rochester's railway station

Georgina Laurie, who also volunteers at the branch, said: "Our lives are different now. We hardly know our neighbours let alone to divulge personal things to them and it is so important because if you keep these feelings in, they grow and they grow to a point where you can't see the wood from the trees.

"But when you do start to talk about them, you can break them down into bite-sized chunks."

Ian Stevens, Network Rail’s Suicide Prevention Program Manager, said: “Brew Monday is a great opportunity for the rail industry to show its support for Samaritans and the fantastic 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 talk about their problems over a cup of tea, we will have made a significant contribution to their lives and to the lives of those around them.”

The Samaritans will be at stations in Rochester and Gravesend from 9am.

Last year, members of the Samaritans joined a group of young women who tied positive messages to the M2 bridge in Medway.

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