Business Charity Awards - Marketing Initiative of the Year: the Rail Industry Suicide Stakeholder Group with Samaritans

For a marketing initiative between a business and a charity that has helped to promote the charity's work, or helped to raise funds

Marketing Initiative of the Year
Marketing Initiative of the Year

Who was in the partnership?

Samaritans has worked with the rail industry since 2010 to cut the number of suicides on the railways and to improve support for people affected by them. In February 2016, Samaritans and the rail industry launched a new campaign, We Listen, to encourage those most at risk to seek help and increase the likelihood of them calling Samaritans' free helpline number.

What did it do?

The campaign was funded through Network Rail on behalf of the rail industry to the tune of £500,000 over two years. The eye-catching creative is displayed on posters, digital screens and ticket barriers. Samaritans’ number and the campaign strapline have also been printed on the back of train tickets.

To extend its reach beyond train travellers, the campaign was rolled out into sports grounds, shopping centres, hospitals and GP surgeries. Volunteers and rail staff handed out more than 400,000 We Listen caller contact cards and about 100,000 travelcard wallets at more than 315 stations and community events.

Why did it win?

We Listen has been Samaritans’ most successful campaign to date, helping to cut railway suicides by 11 per cent between 2015 to 2016. With each death on the railways costing on average of £220,000 and causing 1,400 minutes of delay, as well as traumatising families, communities and rail staff, benefits from the campaign are widespread.

What did the judges say?

"A real example of a truly innovative, strategic partnership with tangible benefits on both sides," commented Anita O’Hara, head of corporate fundraising at Young Enterprise UK.


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