THE RSC tower glowed an uncharacteristic green this week to show support for Stratford Samaritans.
The charity – which offers emotional support via a helpline or face-to-face – aimed to highlight its nationwide campaign ‘Big Listen’ on Tuesday (July 24).
The date was chosen to demonstrate Samaritans availability to listen 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
As well as the tower which was lit up into the evening, other landmarks including Blackpool Tower and Gloucester Cathedral also went green – the colour associated with the charity.
It is part of the charity’s month-long awareness campaign ‘Talk to Us’, which encourages people to improve their listening skills.
Samaritans has come up with five listening tips known as SHUSH – show you care, have patience, use open questions, say it back and have courage.
And volunteers from the Stratford branch on Tyler Street, were there to hand out listening tips until the theatre’s first evening performance.
Lead volunteer Virginia von Malachowski said she was delighted by the support from the RSC and also from Stratford Town Trust which has provided a grant to fund the listening campaign.
She added: “We know that talking helps people process their thoughts and hopefully build strength and resilience to find a way through difficult times.
“Clearly it’s important to have someone to talk to who listens well.
“The five SHUSH listening tips are simple and effective ways in which we can all be a ‘listening ear’ for family, friends, colleagues – anyone who might be struggling.
“Although the charity is often associated with suicidal callers, we encourage people to get in touch with us whenever they need someone to talk
to, and especially before they reach the desperation or crisis point that can lead to suicide.”
There are some 100 volunteers at the Stratford branch, who answer around 12,000 calls a year as well as taking on fundraising tasks to meet the £30,000 running costs.
Visit www.samaritans.org for more information.