Cheltenham Samaritans mark 60th anniversary
By Cat Hage | 22nd August 2023
Cheltenham Samaritans has marked its 60th anniversary by installing two new floral planters at Cheltenham Spa railway station.
The branch successfully applied for a £1,000 grant from Great Western Railway's Station Adoption Fund, which is funded by the Government's Community Rail Fund, to add a touch of colour to Cheltenham Spa.
The floral planters include Samaritans roses grown specifically to celebrate the branch's 50th anniversary in 2013 and are branded with the Samaritans contact number which is clearly visible to customers.
Nigel Archdale, Cheltenham Samaritans outreach director, said: "Samaritans has had a monthly presence on the platforms at Cheltenham Spa for over a year. These new planters, with their signage, act as a prompt, for all passengers and staff who might know someone who may need to call us on 116 123. We are here to listen 24/7."
Alex Chalk, Cheltenham MP said: "This is a wonderful initiative from the Samaritans and GWR, funded through the Government's support for community rail. It recognises the important contribution that Cheltenham Samaritans has made over the last 60 years and provides a colourful and important reminder for anyone visiting the station that help is available."
Ann Jenner, Great Western Railway community delivery manager said: "We're really pleased to support Samaritans with the installation of these two new planters at Cheltenham Spa. Not only have they brought a touch of colour to the station, but they will also work as an important signposting tool for people who may benefit from a conversation.
"Samaritans has worked in partnership with the rail industry and the British Transport Police for more than 10 years, carrying out vital work to reduce suicides on the railway and training staff to start conversations with someone who might need help to get them to safety."
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