Samaritans help Stratford commuters beat January blues

Stratford Samaritans Branch Director Phil Cazaly, centre, with Ian Taylor Station Manager and Paul Dunne, Senior Safety and Environment Business Partner.

Samaritans volunteers turned blue Monday into brew Monday this week by bringing a smile to the faces of commuters at Stratford Station.

Blue Monday, which this year fell on 21st January, has been dubbed the most depressing day of the year, when many face large bills or despair at already breaking New Year resolutions.

In an effort to turn those frowns upside-down, sixteen volunteers from Stratford Samaritans took to the platform at Stratford Station and at other’s across the region to give out free tea bags.

Commuters taking teabags were encouraged to have a cuppa and chat with anyone they know who may be going through a difficult time at the moment.

Phil Cazaly, director of Stratford Samaritans, said: “I was very proud that 16 Listening Volunteers from Stratford Samaritans gave up their time and braved hours in the freezing cold to hand out teabags at local stations on Brew Monday.

“It was great that so many busy commuters using Stratford Station took the time to accept our gift and it was a small reminder to them to share a brew with someone they think may need someone to listen to their troubles. Small talk really can save lives.

“Stratford Samaritans have more than 100 Listening Volunteers and it was great that several local people we met at the station, expressed interest in volunteering with us.”

To learn more about the work of the Samaritans visit