Samaritans Big Listen in Barnet

Samaritans lends an ear at Wellbeing Roadshow in Barnet

The Big Listen, Samaritans’ nationwide awareness campaign will be coming to The Spires Shopping Centre in Barnet on Saturday 21 July. The initiative aims to demonstrate to Barnet residents how listening to another person can be the first step to saving a life.

Samaritans volunteers and London Borough of Barnet Council staff will be teaming up to share wellbeing tips and highlight the support available for anyone in the community who may be struggling to cope.

Barnet Wellbeing Hub, WDP and The Network will also attend to raise awareness of their local support services.

John Pyatt, volunteer and Director of Samaritans’ North London Branch said: “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.”

“We’re here to listen and support, no matter what you’re dealing with. We’re pleased to have the opportunity to talk with shoppers, visitors and local people, to let them know that anyone can contact Samaritans for free. We’re grateful to London Borough of Barnet Council and everyone involved for helping us to spread the word about support services in the area.”

We’ll also be handing out ‘Thank You for Listening’ postcards for people who want to thank someone who has listened to them when they needed them to.”

Councillor Lisa Rutter, Aging Well and Mental Health Champion for London Borough of Barnet, said: “We want Barnet to be a place where everyone feels confident to talk about mental health openly and honestly, knowing that there are people there to listen and help.”

“Working in partnership with Samaritans means the charity can spread awareness of how it can support people and help improve wellbeing with its team of volunteers.”

Samaritans hosts a range of outreach events every year throughout the UK and Ireland to raise awareness of the charity and encourage people to seek help before reaching crisis.

Anyone can contact Samaritans any time, for free, from any phone on 116 123, even via a mobile without credit. The number will not show up on your phone bill. You can also email jo@samaritans.org or go to www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch where you can talk to one of our trained volunteers face to face.

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  • For further information, please contact Samaritans’ press office on 020 8394 8300 or press@samaritans.org.

Picture caption:  The Samaritans’ Big Listen comes to Barnet

Notes to editors:

  • The roadshow will run from 10am until 5pm.
  • The Big Listen is a nationwide Samaritans campaign which culminates 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.
  • 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-centre/big-listen.
  • You can follow #TheBigListen @samaritans on Twitter, @samaritanscharity on Instagram, or via Samaritans’ facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/samaritanscharity/.
  • Further information on North London Samaritans can be found on their website; www.samaritans.org/northlondon
  • Samaritans responds to more than 5million 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 www.samaritans.org
  • Samaritans is a charity and it’s the public’s kind donations and more than 20,000 trained volunteers that mean we are always there for anyone struggling to cope.  Your money or your time could save a life. Find out how you can support us: https://www.samaritans.org/media-centre/big-listen