The partnership, announced at Berwick railway station, aims to highlight the emotional support the charity can provide to local residents and those travelling through the region.
It will see an increased presence of Samaritans’ volunteers at the station from the summer months, undertaking practical outreach, encouraging community involvement and promoting the charity and helpline service amongst local businesses, schools and colleges.
In addition, Samaritans volunteers will also be improving the environment at the station, brightening up the flower beds and other areas to provide a warm welcome to customers.
To mark the start of the enhanced relationship, the station team handed over a cheque for £430 following recent fundraising efforts that saw rail staff walk over four million steps around the station.
A plaque will also be unveiled to name the Samaritans of Northumbria as the official station partner.
Warrick Dent, director of safety and operations at LNER, said: “Berwick is a special destination on our route and we are committed to playing a positive role within the local community.
"I’m delighted to announce this new partnership with Samaritans, which will really help to enhance the charity’s profile within Berwick and the wider area, ensuring even more people are aware of the help that is available 24/7.”
LNER will be providing Samaritans with space around the station including the recently refurbished First Class lounge to engage with passengers and local residents in the coming months.
Elizabeth Dicken of Samaritans of Northumbria, said: “Before the pandemic and restrictions were put in place, our outreach visits and support offered to Berwick has made a real difference, so we’re excited to be strengthening our relationship with the LNER team at Berwick Station.
"We know there is a demand for our services within the area and the partnership will be hugely beneficial in enabling us to reach and support more people. Whatever you’re facing, Samaritans volunteers are there to listen without judgement – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – on 116 123 or email [email protected].”
There are a number of volunteer opportunities available for anyone who would like to support the work of Samaritans within the area, with full training provided. For more information or to enquire, email [email protected].