Great Western Railway and Network Rail are joining forces with Samaritans to help bust the ‘Blue Monday’ myth.
‘Blueming Marvellous Monday’ has been designed by GWR and NR to dispel the idea that so-called ‘Blue Monday’ – the third Monday of January – is the most difficult day of the year.
On a day packed with positivity, colleagues at Reading station will be handing out blue wooden roses and asking customers to ‘Tell us what makes you smile’.
Stations across the GWR network will also be supporting Samaritans’ annual Brew Monday campaign, which encourages friends and family to stay connected by having a cuppa and a catch-up.
Ruth Busby, People and Transformation Director (Regional) for GWR and Network Rail Wales and Western, said:
“We’re trying to brighten up everyone’s day. Forget about it being the so-called saddest day of the year – Blueming Marvellous Monday is designed to put a smile on our customers’ faces.
“Our colleagues across GWR and Network Rail were keen to do something positive to support Brew Monday, and this aligns well with Samaritans’ own campaign this year, which turns the idea of ‘Blue Monday’ on its head and encourages people to reach out and chat every day of the year.
“Samaritans has worked in partnership with Network Rail and the wider rail industry since 2010, encouraging the public and our staff to recognise the power of human connection and start a conversation which could save a life.”
Shona Gibbs, Acting Head of Rail at Samaritans, said:
“We’re so grateful to the rail industry for their support of Brew Monday again this year. At Samaritans we know there is no such thing as Blue Monday and people can feel low at any point of the week or year.
“So, Brew Monday, combined with GWR and NR’s idea of a ‘Blueming Marvellous Monday’ this January, provides passengers with an extra portion of positivity!
“We want everyone to know that you are never alone and we’re encouraging them to check in with people they care about for a cuppa and a chat as talking can save lives. Our volunteers are available around the clock to listen to anyone who needs support this Brew Monday and every other day of the year, 24/7.”
As well as conversing with customers at Reading station, GWR and NR colleagues will be hitting the high notes alongside Winnie the Wellbeing Piano, with Railway Mission Chaplain for the South West of England, John Roe, tinkling the ivories.
GWR colleagues will also be joining Samaritans volunteers at stations across the GWR network, including Truro, Exeter St Davids, Exeter Central, Exmouth, Dawlish, Tiverton Parkway, Okehampton and Slough.
The Brew Monday support comes as part of the rail industry’s suicide prevention programme and partnership with Network Rail.
Samaritans has worked in partnership with the rail industry and British Transport Police to reduce suicides on the railway for over 10 years, having trained over 26,000 rail and BTP staff to look out for passengers and make conversation if they feel someone might be vulnerable.
Photo credit: Great Western Railway