Leeds Samaritans say: ‘Don’t be blue, enjoy a brew’

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Leeds Samaritans is encouraging people in the city to beat Blue Monday by getting together for a cuppa on January 21.

Dubbed ‘the most difficult day of the year’, the charity is turning the third Monday in January on its head by encouraging people to enjoy Brew Monday instead. The charity is hoping to banish the January blues by encouraging friends, family and work mates to have a chat over a brew.

Samaritans will spend the day in the Leeds John Lewis cafe handing out free tea bags and encouraging customers to take the time to have a cuppa with family, friends and neighbours who may be finding it difficult at this time of year.

Alwyne Greenbank, Leeds Samaritans Director, said: “We would like to express our thanks to John Lewis & Partners for supporting our Brew Monday initiative and allowing us to help raise awareness at this crucial time of year.”

Located on Clarendon Road, the Leeds branch of Samaritans currently has 140 volunteers helping to answer some of the five million calls for help the charity receives every year from people going through a difficult time. The branch also trains listeners in Armley prison, provides talks for community groups and schools and attends mental health awareness days throughout the year.

Tracey Whitehead, Leeds branch deputy director, said: “People don’t have to be suicidal to call Samaritans, in fact one of the main reasons callers contact us is isolation and loneliness. During the winter months these feelings can be at their most intense, so getting together for a brew with friends can provide a lift on what is meant to be the most difficult days of the of year.”

Join the conversation using #BrewMonday.