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Samaritans charity is urging people on Arran to connect with others by reaching out to someone they care about for a virtual cuppa this winter for the charity’s Brew Monday campaign.
The Brew Monday campaign started earlier this week and is an adaption of Blue Monday, the third Monday of January, which traditionally is known as the most depressing day of the year.
The campaign is aimed at encouraging people to have a virtual chat and a cuppa with family, friends and co-workers in a bid to make sure no one is lonely over the long winter months as restrictions continue.
Laura Adlington, a popular contestant in last year’s Great British Bake Off competition has been a Samaritans volunteer for two years and has lent her support to the campaign.
Samaritans provides emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide,
Laura said: ‘I’ve felt very isolated and there have been days where I didn’t want to get out of bed, let alone talk to anyone. But I found that the more I talked and reached out to people, the better I felt.
‘Keeping in touch with people throughout the pandemic has been the only way I’ve got through it.
‘Being away from home for six weeks during Bake Off was challenging but I always managed to find time for a chat with my husband every day to share how I was feeling. He probably didn’t realise it but those conversations, however short, helped me find the inner strength I needed to keep going.
‘If 2020 has taught us anything it’s to be kind. If you think someone is struggling, ask them if they’re ok. You’re not going to make them feel worse. You don’t need to have all the answers. A phone call is such a small thing, but it can mean the world to someone.’
As part of the campaign people are encouraged to make use of audio/video calling software such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp and Facebook messenger but a normal telephone call can work just as well for connecting with people, especially for those not comfortable with technology.
Rachel Cackett, executive director for Samaritans Scotland, said: ‘Even in normal circumstances, we know that winter can be a difficult time of year for people and the pandemic restrictions will heighten these challenges for many. So it’s never been more important that we all take steps to look after our wellbeing and stay connected.
‘As we kick-off our Brew Monday campaign, we’re encouraging people to make time for a virtual cuppa and a chat with family, friends or co-workers this winter.
Even if we can’t be together in person, we can still check in with one another and take time to listen. It doesn’t have to be on a Monday or over a cup of tea – what matters is to stay connected and remind ourselves and one another that we don’t have to face difficult times alone.’
More information about the campaign and how you can support the Samaritans can be found online at www.samaritans.org/brewmonday where a digital toolkit is also available for those that wish to take part.