Join Samaritans and celebrity friends for a 'Brew Monday'

Danny-Boy Hatchard, Robbie Williams, Lorraine Kelly and Soccer AM's John Fendley supporting charity tea and chat.

Blue Monday is dead, long live Brew Monday says Samaritans. Difficult feelings don’t care if it’s December or June so there is no such thing as the most ‘depressing’ day of the year. The charity is asking the nation to ignore the blue and instead, put the kettle on and have a brew with a friend or a colleague.

EastEnders’ actor Danny-Boy Hatchard, who plays a young man grappling with depression and suicidal feelings in the soap said: “Playing his character has made me realise the importance of not letting challenges overwhelm you. Asking for support and talking about what you’re going through can really help. Just having a cup of tea and a chat with a friend is an opportunity for them to do that.”

Celebrities including Robbie Williams, Sky Soccer AM’s ‘Fenners’, ITV’s Lorraine and Loose Women presenters Ayda Field, Janet Street Porter, Nadia Sawalha and Kaye Adams are all backing the campaign to get people talking by revealing what chases their blues away.

Samaritans has also teamed up with Network Rail, whom they work with to reduce suicide across the railway networks, to give out 20,000 teabags to get the Brew Monday message across.

Fenners and Danny-Boy will be having a cuppa and giving away Samaritans tea bags to commuters with Samaritans volunteers at a surprise location on Brew Monday morning. More than forty events are planned across the UK. Travellers at King’s Cross station in London will also be invited to join in a singalong at home time.

Cult football show presenter Fenners said: “I like the work Samaritans do and think it’s important for men in particular to reach out for help when things are tough. This initiative is a fun way of reaching everyone at a difficult time of the year for many people”.  

Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland said: “Challenging feelings don’t work to a calendar and external circumstances are only one part of what can makes life feel overwhelming. Health, family, work, relationships and money issues, or feelings of loneliness, isolation or uncertainty could be making life really tough. Samaritan’s ‘Brew Monday’ gives you the chance to sit down with a friend and talk to them or listen to them over a cup of tea, or coffee if you prefer!

“If you want to make an even bigger difference in 2017, why not think about donating some money or some of your time to Samaritans to help keep our life-saving services going.”

Network Rail’s Ian Stevens said: “Brew Monday is a great example of the kind of collaborative work we undertake with our partners at Samaritans and we urge everyone to take part, and take the time on January 16 to have a cuppa and speak to a friend, relative or colleague who may need support.”

There’s even a universal dimension to Brew Monday, with astronaut-in-training, mental health campaigner, performance poet Hussain Manawer performing a special poem to mark the day on You Tube.

Anyone can get on board with Brew Monday by making a date to have a cuppa with someone they know. Find out more at www.samaritans.org/brewmonday, follow #BrewMonday on Twitter, or Samaritans on facebook at www.facebook.com/samaritanscharity.

Make Brew Monday really count.  Your money or your time could save a life.  Find out how to volunteer or support Samaritans with a donation.

For more information, images and interviews, please contact press@samaritans.org or 020 8394 8300.  You can also follow the Brew Monday campaign on Twitter @samaritans #brewmonday

                                                                                -ENDS-

Notes to editors:

  • Samaritans responds to more than 5.4 million calls for help every year, offering emotional support by phone, email, text and face to face in its 201 branches across the UK and Republic of Ireland.  For more information, please see samaritans.org
  • *Festive period refers to 18.12.16 and 01.01.17
  • Just £4.26 helps us answer one Samaritans call. Go to www.samaritans.org/donate to help us be there for even more people that need us.
  • Samaritans works with Network Rail and the wider rail industry to prevent deaths on the railways and support those affected by them. Find out more at:  http://www.samaritans.org/for-business/rail-industry-suicide-prevention-programme