Samaritans will launch The Big Listen at midday today

At midday on 24th July, Samaritans will launch The Big Listen, a 24-hour fundraising campaign to help the charity continue their crucial listening work and raise awareness of the importance of listening and lending an ear to others.

Many of the charity’s 20,000 volunteers will be out across the country, handing out copies of their SHUSH listening tips and encouraging members of the public to take selfies wearing the campaign’s big ears and the share the photos on social media using #TheBigListen. There’s also a Big Listen Facebook camera filter so that people can take part in the campaign wherever they are.

In addition to sharing selfies, donating funds where possible and spreading the word about the Samaritan’s The Big Listen campaign, the charity is encouraging everyone to understand and implement their SHUSH listening tips, if they feel someone is in need. The acronym stands for:

  • Show you care
  • Have patience
  • Use open questions
  • Say it back
  • Have courage

More details about SHUSH can be found here.

Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland said: "As many as 1 in 5 adults have thought about taking their own life at some point. When people feel like that, they need people who can listen. Not everyone will feel ready or able to talk to family, friends or colleagues, and that’s where Samaritans comes in.

But, the more we promote what good listening is, and how you encourage others to talk, the more people will feel they can open up to someone they trust before they reach crisis point. We hope The Big Listen will help build that buzz as well as raise funds. Because listening saves lives."

Donations throughout The Big Listen will help Samaritans keep its emotional support services free for anyone who needs them, 24/7, as well as helping to recruit, train and support its volunteers, who answer calls and run hundreds of branches of Samaritans across the UK.

Find out how you can support The Big Listen.

If you need help, you can call Samaritans on 116 123 (free) or email