COLCHESTER Samaritans is encouraging people to beat 'Blue Monday' by getting together for a cuppa.

Their 'Brew Monday' event will take place on January 21.

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

Samaritans volunteers from the Colchester branch will be at Colchester North station from 6am to 10am, then at the Lion Walk United Reformed Church carpark with the Samaritans Van from 11am to 3pm.

They will be chatting to commuters and handing out free tea bags.

The Samaritans branch in Walsingham Road has around 130 volunteers helping to answer some of the five million calls for help the charity responds to every year.

The branch also provides support from its van in Clacton every Thursday morning.

Colchester Samaritans director, Gaynor Bell, said: “Isolation and loneliness are one of the main reasons people contact Samaritans, so getting together for a brew with friends can provide a lift on what is meant to be one of the most difficult days of the year.”

Ian Stevens, Network Rail’s Suicide Prevention programme manager, added: “Brew Monday is a great opportunity for the rail industry to show its support for Samaritans and the great work they do in helping people up and down the country.

"Millions of people use the rail network every day and if through this campaign we can encourage them to talk about their problems over a cup of tea, we will have made a significant contribution to their lives and to the lives of those around them.”

Find out how you can get involved with Brew Monday at