Samaritans’ "We Listen" campaign and railway suicide prevention partnership win major awards
Samaritans’ suicide prevention and marketing campaigns with the railway industry won two major prizes at the Business Charity Awards last night.
The awareness-raising campaign, We Listen, won Marketing Initiative of the Year and the suicide prevention partnership with the railway industry and the British Transport Police (BTP) triumphed in the Consortium section at the awards, held at London Hilton Bankside.
The awards recognise the outstanding contributions made by UK businesses in educating the wider business community about the best ways to support good causes.
Paul McDonald, Samaritans Executive Director of External Affairs, said: “I am so proud that our Samaritans and rail industry We Listen campaign has been recognised with the Business Charity Consortium Award. The campaign manages to capture the essence of what is so special and different about Samaritans and has been very successful in increasing awareness and understanding of the service we offer to those travelling across the British rail network and within their local communities.”
Ian Stevens of Network Rail, who manages the suicide prevention programme on behalf of the rail industry, said: “I am delighted that our Samaritans and rail industry We Listen campaign has won this award. The campaign seeks to let people know that support is there for anyone who may be feeling overwhelmed and we are proud to have sponsored its expansion beyond the rail network into local communities, on to buses and into hospitals and GP surgeries.”
“With an industry that employs over 200,000 people across dozens of organisations, the Rail Industry Suicide Stakeholder Group provides a mechanism to allow stakeholders to work closely together to support a common goal. We are delighted that the RISSG has been recognised for its high levels of cooperation and collaboration across the industry in partnership with Samaritans and in addressing the complex issue of suicide and its prevention.”
Steve Fisher, Head of Regional Services for London Midland, said: “The awards success reflects the strength of the life-saving partnership between the rail industry and Samaritans which is rightly seen as leading the way in showing what can be achieved when businesses and charities unite around a common cause.”
Mark Smith, Head of Suicide Prevention for the British Transport Police (BTP), said: “The BTP really values its partnership with the rail industry and Samaritans in relation to suicide prevention.
“Protecting life is at the very top of BTP's list priorities and this partnership allows us to collaborate with a wide range of industry and other partners to drive this work forward. We are delighted to have been recognised with this award and thank all those involved in this work.”
Paul Plummer, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, representing train operators and Network Rail, said: “Reducing suicide on Britain’s railway is something that can only be achieved through the close co-operation of everyone working, or travelling, on the network. From the We Listen campaign, using simple messaging on the back of orange tickets, to the specialist training of rail staff, the industry’s collaboration has proved very effective.
“We know that there are no easy answers to suicide, but we have demonstrated that everyone can play a part in making the railway a safe and supportive place for people who are finding life tough”.
Audley Harrison MBE said: “I was proud to work with Samaritans on its We Listen campaign, to help get their listening message out there. I think a lot of people, men especially, don’t like to talk about their problems, and they bottle it up. The danger is that they become overwhelmed and start thinking about suicide. If you can interrupt that journey, and you can do that just by listening, then you give people the chance to make different choices, to tell a different story.”
Picture captions: Fast track: left to right consortium award, host Declan Curry; Ola Rzepczynska, Samaritans Strategic Programme Manager, Network Rail; Steve Fisher, Head of Regional Services for London Midland; and Jeffrey Oatham, director London Benchmarking Group
Top team: marketing award left to right, host Declan Curry, Ola Rzepczynska, Samaritans Strategic Programme Manager; Ian Stevens, Programme Manager, Network Rail; and Farid Ahmed, head of Corporate Development and Finance, FR Events
For further information, photos and interviews about Samaritans’ We Listen campaign and partnership with the rail industry, please contact Samaritans’ press office on 020 8394 8300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors:
- You don’t have to be suicidal to call Samaritans. You can call us free anytime from any phone, contact us via email, text or go to www.samaritans.org for details of your latest branch
- Samaritans works with Network Rail and the wider rail industry to prevent deaths on the railways and support those affected by them. For more information please see www.samaritans.org/for-business/rail-industry-suicide-prevention-programme
- RISSG is the group that represents all key stakeholders from across the rail industry including Samaritans, Network Rail, British Transport Police, Train Operating Companies, Unions, Department for Transport and others