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Samaritans launches 'The Big Listen' to continue saving lives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Written by Samantha Lade, Donr

Published on Friday, 20th July 2018

Samaritans launches The Big Listen to keep saving lives 24 hours a day

Ruby Wax, David Walliams, Michelle Heaton, Sir Paul McCartney and Hussain Manawer are among the stars supporting Samaritans' 24-hour fundraising push, The Big Listen, which kicks off at midday on Tuesday 24th July.

The aim is to show how really listening to another person can be the first step to saving a life, and to raise as much cash as possible to help keep Samaritans' 24-hour emotional support line going.

At midday on 24th July, the charity will release an exclusive video that goes behind the scenes to meet some of Samaritans' 20,000 volunteers, who respond to call for help every 6 seconds. 

Famous faces from TV, music, sport and entertainment will help drive the marathon event online.

The charity is now asking people to look out for celebs wearing giant ears and popping up in unexpected places, sharing top tips on what makes a great listener. 

Singer and TV presenter Michelle Heaton is the voice behind a special animation that highlights Samaritans' 5 top listening tips – making them memorable as the S-H-U-S-H Listening Tips.

Samaritans volunteers will be out in force at railway stations across the UK, sporting giant ears and handing out copies of Samaritans' SHUSH listening tips.

Everyone they meet will be encourages to take a selfie wearing giant ears and share, using #TheBigListen.

Samaritans has also created a Facebook camera filter so that you can snap a selfie or a photo of yourself with friends and take part in #TheBigListen wherever you are.

Ruby Wax OBE, broadcaster and mental health campaigner, said: 'I just love the idea of The Big Listen helping to raise funds to keep Samaritans' services free, every single day of the year.

'We need to open our ears and give people the space to talk. Really listening to someone who is finding things tough can save a life.'

Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland said: 'As many as 1 in 5 adults have thought about taking their own life at some point. When people feel like that, they need people who can listen.

'The more we promote what good listening is, and how you encourage others to talk, the more people will feel they can open up to someone they trust before reaching crisis point.'

Donations will help Samaritans keep its emotional support services free for anyone who needs them, 24/7, as well as helping to recruit, train and support its volunteers, who answer calls and run hundreds of branches of Samaritans across the UK.

There are lots of ways you can get involved with The Big Listen. Find out more on the Samaritans' website.