There’s always time for a cuppa and a catch-up

Written on January 5th, 2022

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We’re proudly supporting Samaritans’ Brew Monday fundraising campaign. This Brew Monday, 17th January, Samaritans is reminding everyone to reach out for a cuppa and a catch-up with the people you care about.

The third Monday in January is sometimes referred to as ‘the most difficult day of the year’ but this is a myth. Samaritans knows there’s no such thing as ‘Blue Monday’ – we all have our good days and our bad days. Brew Monday is all about taking the time to check in, connect and listen when someone needs you. We’d like to encourage you to reach out and enjoy a cuppa and a chat with friends, family or colleagues and, if you can, make a donation to Samaritans.

Suicide prevention is everybody’s business and many of us have been affected by the devastating impact of suicide. Samaritans’ vision is that fewer people die by suicide. They do this by making sure there’s someone there for anyone who need someone. Every year, Samaritans volunteers spend over one million hours answering calls for help via their unique 24-hour listening service, email, letter, face-to-face and through their Welsh language service.

It doesn’t have to be a Monday or a cup of tea, just taking the time to really listen to another person could help them work through what’s on their mind. ​And, if you’d like to fundraise, why not host a Brew Monday event or make a one-off donation? By raising money for Samaritans, you’ll help give people having a tough time somewhere to turn when they need to talk.

There will be fundraising tins in your stores throughout January, and we’re hosting a brew giveaway courtesy of Teapigs on the 17th January in store — come in and collect your free teabag!

Some Ideas For Your Brew Monday Event
• People can give whatever feels right. They can bring their own cuppa and cake and donate what it would usually cost them.
• Play a game like ‘how many tea leaves in a teabag?’ or have a cuppa-themed quiz.
• Share pictures on social media with #BrewMonday to raise awareness.
• Set up a Just Giving page to donate directly.
Click here to visit Samaritans’ website where you’ll find downloadable resources.

Making A Donation To Samaritans
• £5 funds a call for help to Samaritans from someone struggling to cope.
• £200 pays for training a new Samaritans volunteer in the skills to help people feel listened to and less alone.
• To give £5 just text BREW to 70450 You will be charged £5, plus one message at your standard network rate. Samaritans will receive 100% of your donation.

Samaritans’ Little tips for helping someone open up when something’s up
When someone is carrying around worries and difficult feelings, it can feel very lonely Having someone there to listen can help them work through what’s going on and feel better able to cope. You don’t have to be an expert to help someone open up when something’s up. The fact that you care is what matters. Here are some tips to help you spot when something might be up, open up a conversation and become a better listener.

Signs that someone might not be ok
Many people struggle to cope at one point or another of their lives. Reaching out to someone could help them
Everyone copes and reacts in their own way, but there are some general signs to look out for:
• Not wanting to do things they usually enjoy.
• Finding everyday things overwhelming.
• Not replying to messages,or being distant.
• Avoiding people or seeming quiet.
• Appearing restless or agitated.
• Easily tearful.
• Drinking or using drugs to cope with feelings.
These might not apply to everyone who is struggling, but they can be useful to look out for.

What to do if you think someone is struggling
Many people worry that reaching out will be intrusive or make things worse but you’ll soon be able to tell if the person you’re speaking to isn’t comfortable or doesn’t want to have that kind of conversation. Don’t be afraid to ask how someone’s feeling:
• Choose a good time, and somewhere without distractions.
• Use open questions that need more than a yes/no answer.
• ‘How are things?’
• Listen well. ‘How’s that making you feel?’
• Avoid giving your view of what’s wrong, or what they should do.
If they don’t want to open up, you’ll still have let them know that you’re there for them.

How to be a good listener
Once someone starts to share how they’re feeling, it’s important to listen. This could mean not offering advice, not trying to identify what they’re going through with your own experiences and not trying to solve their problems. Here are some top tips:
• Make eye contact and put away your phone.
• Focus completely on the other person.
• Pauses are fine, try not to jump in to fill a silence.
• Resist putting your own interpretation on it.

Take a look at Samaritans’ SHUSH listening tips for more tips on listening.

How to talk about getting extra support
When you’re talking to the person you’re worried about, you can mention services that you think would be useful, and pass on contact information. You can also offer to accompany them to appointments, or agree on a point at which it might be useful to call them.

You can’t force someone to seek help – but you can make sure they know that you’re there for them, and will support them if they do.
Where to get help:
• ‘GP – You can find their local GP here.
• Specialist services – Depending on the situation, it might be helpful to reach out out a specialist service. Samaritans has a list of specialist services in the UK and Ireland here.
• Samaritans – You can also suggest they contact Samaritans. They’re there to listen, no judgment, no pressure, no matter what they’re going through. They can call Samaritans free on 116 123 or email The service is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

When you should let someone else help
If the person you are worried about is in immediate danger, for example if they have hurt themselves, call an ambulance on 999. This is the quickest way to get help

Looking after yourself
Supporting someone who is struggling can be distressing.

It’s important for you to make sure you’re okay too. It’s okay to decide that you are no longer able to help someone and to let them know you won’t be contactable for a while.

If supporting someone is affecting you, we’re here to listen. No pressure, no judgement. Whatever you’re going through, call Samaritans free any time, from any phone, on 116 123, or email on

Samaritans is a charity registered in England & Wales (219432) and in Scotland (SC040604).