This morning, Samaritans volunteers were shivering on Brighton Station, Hove Station and 80 other railway stations around the country. We’re at it again tonight. If you see us, feel free to say hi, and take one of our free Brew Monday teabags or SHUSH Listening Tips leaflets. You can pop a few coins in our collecting tins. And talk to us about how you are doing.
You can even discuss the possibility of volunteering as a Samaritan yourself. Samaritans are ordinary people. We have no special powers. We don’t get paid but we do get the most excellent training and a great deal of support to do what we do. Read more here.
Let’s be honest. There is no such thing as Blue Monday. It was a clever advertising gimmick thought up by a travel company 15 years ago. And yes, Brew Monday is a bit of a gimmick too. But it’s a good way of grabbing people’s attention for a much better reason than selling them a holiday they may not be able to afford. Brew Monday is a way of reminding people that they have the most valuable thing that other people need. And that’s the gift of their own time. Time to ask the other person how they are. And to really listen to the answer. Time to be with them if they are OK but even more if they are not. And time to help them come to their own conclusions about what action, if any, they want to take. And what better way to help the conversation flow than with a lovely cup of tea? This link will take you to the Brew Monday part of the Samaritans website.
Here are the SHUSH listening tips:
S = Show you care – stop what you are doing, put away your phone, perhaps offer a cup of tea
H = Have patience – forget the emails piling up. And don’t give up.
U = Use open questions. And include space for the other person to think.
S = Say it back – use their words, without offering an opinion or judgement.
H = Have courage. This can be hard, especially if you get initially get a dusty answer. But please keep trying.
If you want to hear yours truly talking about Brew Monday, Samaritans, and the listening tips mentioned above, you can find me here on Radio Sussex talking with the lovely Allison Ferns from 2hrs 46 minutes – 3hrs.
And most of all, please try to find time this week to have a cuppa with someone and really listen to them. It could make a huge difference.