A LAMPPOST in Stratford has been painted green to shed light on an important message.
The Rother Street lamppost is part of a campaign by Stratford Samaritans – whose trademark colour is green – to remind people in the town they are not alone in times of distress.
The charity’s campaign known as SHUSH stands for a series of mantras including – show you care, have patience, use open questions, say it back and have courage.
It is hoped to encourage people to improve their listening skills so they can lend an ear to those who might need it.
Stratford Samaritans director Virginia von Malachowski said: “We are hoping this lamppost will get noticed and remind people that Samaritans is here for them 24 hours a day. And we want to highlight how important it is for everyone to be able to listen when someone needs to talk about their troubles.
“Our SHUSH project is all about sharing Samaritans skills with the wider community so that in times of crisis, people can find someone who is a good listener.
“We are delighted to have a special lamppost, which will be a visual reminder that no one is alone. Samaritans volunteers are here to listen and hopefully many more people will pick up the SHUSH skills and be a listening ear for family and friends and even strangers who are clearly struggling to cope.”
Warwickshire County Council leader Izzi Seccombe is backing the campaign.
She said: “In times of crisis, finding something prepared to listen is invaluable. Effective listening is crucial to helping someone through a difficult time in their life and I’m pleased that Warwickshire County Council was able to contribute to this campaign.
“I hope that this simple yet effective visual reminder will lead people to engage with SHUSH and develop those all-important listening skills”
Samaritans is open to visitors at the branch in Tyler Street until 9.30pm on most days, or the charity can be reached on 01789 116 123.
Visit www.stratfordsamaritans.org.uk for more information.