Lit Up For 'The Big Listen'

On July 24th, volunteers from the Swindon & District branch of Samaritans worked with Swindon Borough Council (SBC) & Affleck Electrical to arrange for the Greenbridge Roundabout to be lit up in ‘Samaritans green’ using SBC’s unique LED lighting system.

This spectacular and distinctive display was to throw light on the availability of Samaritans’ 24-hour emotional support services and was part our Branch’s contribution to the Samaritans nationwide push, 'The Big Listen' – aimed not just at raising awareness and funds for our organisation but to also highlight how listening to another person can be the first step to saving a life.

Darren, Director of our branch: “It’s thought that as many as 1 in 5 people have thought about taking their own life at some point.  As Samaritans volunteers, we know how much listening to someone at a really low point can help them feel less alone, more able to deal with difficult thoughts and feelings, and give them the time and space to reflect and move on.   Not everyone will feel ready to open up to family, friends or colleagues, but the more we share what good listening is all about and how to encourage people to talk, the higher the chances people will have to share what’s going on in their life, before they reach crisis point.  With ‘The Big Listen’, we’re asking people to give, share and save a life.”

Councillor Brian Ford, SBC’s Cabinet Member for Adults who is also the Council’s Mental Health Champion:  “We welcome any initiative which aims to reduce the risk of suicide and self-harm and the Samaritans do a fantastic job providing help and support to those people who feel vulnerable.  2018 is the Year of Mental Health in Swindon and we are encouraging people to look after their own mental health and wellbeing while also raising awareness of where help is available.”

All 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 local branches across the UK/Ireland.  To find out more about the event please follow the link here.