Surprise Tom Walker gig kicks off Samaritans' Big Listen

'Leave a light on' singer charms commuters at London Waterloo

Travellers were treated to a surprise performance of Tom Walker’s hit ‘Leave A Light On’ at London’s Waterloo station, as the singer showed his support for Samaritans’ 24-hour event The Big LIsten

Arriving guitar in hand, to help spread the word that listening can be the first step to saving a life, Tom chatted to fans, Samaritans volunteers and selfie-hunters before a beautiful rendition of his breakthrough hit about being there for a friend in need of support. 

Earlier, poet Hussain Manawer got the conversation started about the power of listening on BBC Breakfast TV, while singer and presenter Michelle Heaton shared her experiences of listening and being listened to when things get tough, with Christine Lampard on ITV’s Lorraine show.

Tom and Hussain were later reunited when they met up across the airwaves to promote The Big Listen on BBC 5Live’s Afternoon Edition, presented by Nihal Arthanayake, joined by former Coronation Street star and #TheBigListen supporter, actor Shayne Ward. Together, they shared experiences of talking and listening to support friends and others struggling with their mental health. 

The Big Listen is inviting everyone to become a better listener and showing how listening to another person can encourage them to open up about what’s troubling them and find support. It’s also inviting donations to help keep Samaritans’ 24-hour emotional support line running for free.  

The charity has also released a video telling the stories of some of Samaritans’ 20,000 volunteers, who respond to a call for help every 6 seconds.  

Donations throughout the 24 hours will help Samaritans keep its emotional support services free for anyone who needs them, 24/7, as well as helping to recruit, train and support its volunteers, who answer calls and run hundreds of branches of Samaritans across the UK.  

There are lots of ways to get involved in The Big Listen: make a donation, help build the buzz around #TheBigListen on social media, or try out some new listening skills. Find out more at:

You can follow #TheBigListen @samaritans on Twitter, @samaritanscharity on Instagram, or via Samaritans’ facebook page at

For more information, please contact or 020 8394 8300 or 07943 809 162 


Notes for Editors 

  • Anyone can contact Samaritans any time for free from any phone on 116 123. This number is free to call and will not show up on your phone bill. Or email or go to to find details of your local branch where you can talk to one of our trained volunteers face to face. 

  • Samaritans responds to more than 5 million calls for help a year. 

  • 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: