Marian Fowler and Samaritans Chief Executive Catherine Johnstone

Thousands of people talk to us on National Awareness Day

Events took place up and down the country today, Wednesday, 24 July, for Samaritans’ National Awareness Day, Talk to us. The biggest event of them all was at Waterloo train station, where TV star Maria Fowler (The Only Way is Essex) leant her support to the campaign.

Having recently called Samaritans herself, Maria has first-hand experience of the value of talking and is now helping to raise awareness of its service for other people struggling to cope.

Maria Fowler said:

“Samaritans is a fantastic source of support, I only wish I’d got in touch earlier. Talking to them really helped. It was like having a non-judgemental friend, something that is hard to come by in real life. It is so important that people talk about their problems, and if things are getting too much, Samaritans is available, any time of the day or night.”

People across the UK and Ireland have got behind the Talk to us campaign, helping to raise awareness and much-needed funds for the charity. Also lending his support to the event at Waterloo was 43 year old Kevin Shepherd, who phoned Samaritans when he was feeling suicidal, a call which saved his life*.

Catherine Johnstone, Samaritans’ CEO, said:

“It is fantastic to see that so many donations have been made to the charity, and my heartfelt thanks go out to each and every person that has supported Samaritans as part of our National Awareness Day, Talk to us. I would also like to thank Maria Fowler for supporting the campaign, she has really helped raise awareness of the value of talking. Without everyone’s generous support we would not be able to continue delivering our vital round the clock service for anyone struggling to cope.”

This year Samaritans celebrates its 60th anniversary of founder, Prebendary Dr Chad Varah CH CBE, taking the first call to the service on 02 November 1953.

People can get involved in the campaign by simply texting ‘SUPPORT’ to 70123* to make a £3 donation.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Maria Fowler, please contact the the Press Team on 020 8394 8348 /

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Notes to editors:

*Read Kevin’s full story on our website:

Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. We provide a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them. Please call 116 123, email, or visit to find details of the nearest branch.

Terms and conditions of making a donation to 70123
Texts cost £3, plus one message at your standard network rate. Samaritans will receive a minimum of 99% of your donation. We may contact you in the future. If you’d prefer not to hear from us, text NOCALL SAM to 70060. If you wish to discuss this mobile payment, call 0844 241 2263. UK registered charity number 219432.