Samaritans stage pop-up events at Bedford train station to get passengers talking

They will also be in Flitwick
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Passengers at Bedford and Flitwick railway station are being invited to talk to Samaritans volunteers, as part of the charity’s ‘Small Talk Saves Lives’ campaign.

Samaritans has teamed up with Network Rail and British Transport Police to stage two pop up events at the stations, in the hope of highlighting the importance of small talk.

This comes as YouGov research released by Samaritans reveal just over half of British adults living near Network Rail's East Midlands route avoid engaging with someone they don’t know to avoid small talk – whilst 23 per cent of adults are worried they would say the wrong thing when engaging with someone. But the charity says that saying something is better than saying nothing at all.

Another pop up event in London today. Picture: Network RailAnother pop up event in London today. Picture: Network Rail
Another pop up event in London today. Picture: Network Rail

Samaritans volunteers will be at Bedford train station on March 2 from 11am until 2pm, and at Flitwick station on March 14 between 7am and 9am.

Small Talk Saves Lives campaign aims to get the public to trust their instincts and start a conversation if they think someone needs help in railway stations and other public settings. The charity says that having a short conversation can be all it takes to interrupt someone’s suicidal thoughts and could help set them on the journey to recovery.

Andrew Haines, Chief Executive of Network Rail said: “I am ever so proud of our relationship with Samaritans and British Transport Police and hope this next stage of the campaign continues to help educate and inform people that small talk can be lifesaving.”

Samaritans CEO Julie Bentley said, "Every day, there are people across Great Britain who are in distress and need support. Our Small Talk Saves Lives campaign empowers people to trust their instincts and have the confidence to act in a way that could save a life.”

British Transport Police Assistant Chief Constable, Paul Furnell said: “This campaign continues to encourage us all to try a little small talk, but if you don’t feel comfortable or safe to intervene, tell a member of rail staff or a police officer. You can text British Transport Police on 61016 or call 999.”