Million Hour Challenge

 Bringing the rail industry together to help Samaritans be there when it matters most.

Network Rail is leading an exciting volunteering project supporting Samaritans.

The Million Hour Challenge will bring together the rail industry to volunteer one million hours for Samaritans during CP6.

We all go through tough times in our life and we want everyone to have the skills and knowledge to recognise the signs of someone who is struggling to cope, encourage them to talk about what they’re going through and help them get more support if they need it.

We want the rail industry to be an environment where we all care for our colleagues, customers and the community and de-stigmatise mental health.


One in four people will experience a mental health illness in their life. Not everyone feels suicidal but they do need support and someone to listen and care. Seven out of ten employees who experience a mental health problem such as stress, anxiety or depression feel unable to discuss how they feel with their manager. Many find it difficult to talk to friends or family members.

Samaritans provide an essential confidential and non-judgemental support for people in emotional distress. They answer a call every 6 seconds and demand for their support is increasing. Samaritans’ listening service is available 24 hours, 7 days a week. The 201 branches are run entirely by volunteers and income from fundraising. Samaritans need more volunteers to meet the increasing demand for their support. In one year, Samaritans volunteers spend over one million hours responding to calls for help.

There are lots of benefits for volunteers too including;

  • Gain skills and experiences that will help in life and in your career
  • Meet and socialise with like-minded people
  • Improve your own health and wellbeing
  • Feel a sense of pride from giving something back to society and making a positive difference in people’s lives
  • Improved personal and work relationships
  • Better work: life balance

What counts towards the one million hours?

There are a range of volunteering options to fit in with the amount of time you can spare. We recommend you register at to easily access the following ideas and then log your hours.

Give a few hours:

Why not arrange a brew event with your team or become a social media supporter and help spread the message online.

Complete the Samaritans Wellbeing in the Workplace Toolkit and you will gain valuable skills and the knowledge to recognise the signs of someone in distress. Access the training via the website.

Support a branch:

The Samaritans branches may need your skills and expertise; such as IT, marketing support or even taking minutes. Find out if you can help at your local branch through your account on the website.

Volunteer on a regular basis:

As a listening volunteer you get the chance to make a real difference to someone’s future. To find out if being a listening volunteer is right for you and to start the process visit the website.


Raise awareness for Samaritans and wellbeing in your workplace and hold a Brew Monday event, quiz night, dress down day or Sing for Samaritans. You can find Samaritans fundraising events and ideas on the website.

Set up your profile today and start counting your hours to help us reach a million!

For further information and to order your own Million Hour Challenge promotional items (mugs, posters, leaflets) contact


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